Pirate Craig urges people to ‘live life’

'Pompey pirate' Craig Bryden
'Pompey pirate' Craig Bryden
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LIVE your life to the full and make the most of every opportunity.

That’s the message from self-styled ‘Pompey pirate’ Craig Bryden as he is about to undergo radiotherapy in a bid to beat his cancer for good.

Falklands veteran Craig, from Copnor, was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

He became an internet hit when he went to his first chemotherapy session at Queen Alexandra Hospital dressed as a pirate and he was photographed by a passenger on the bus on his way there.

Now the 56-year-old is looking to inspire others as he talks about his plans for the future.

Craig said: ‘Most of the cancer has gone, but it will come back. It could be three months or 10 years I’ll be in remission, we just don’t know.

‘But from what they have told us, I have come on leaps and bounds.’

The dad-of-two says he has been making the most of his time by spending it with his family and his wife Rae.

They have just come back from a holiday in Turkey and have drawn up ambitious travel plans for next year.

Craig said: ‘You have got to have a holiday – or five!

‘We have always tried to get away on holiday each year, but this time we are just making the most of our together.’

They are planning to visit Gambia in January, Tenerife in March for Rae’s birthday, Cyprus in June, Portugal in July and Turkey in September.

Craig said he still feels like the luckiest man alive.

‘I feel great,’ he added.

He said he was proud of his wife Rae, who works at Joules at Gunwharf Quays and won the Manager of the Year award at the Retail & Leisure Awards, which are organised by The News and took place on Saturday.

Craig said he is still an ardent Pompey fan – and he hopes to be able to walk the team on to the pitch at Fratton Park for the Portsmouth v Mansfield game on Saturday, November 12.

The match will mark Remembrance Sunday, the following day.

Craig added: ‘Terminal cancer is never going to bring this old pirate down.

‘We only get one go at life, people.’