Sven-Göran Eriksson: Former England manager 'told he was dying from cancer after suffering strokes'

Sven-Göran Eriksson has told Swedish radio he is seriously ill with cancer and has less than a year left to live.

The former England manager, 75, is reported to have said: "Everyone understands that I have an illness that is not good. Everyone guesses it's cancer and it is. But I have to fight as long as I can."

He added: "I know roughly that at best I have a year, at worst less. You can't be absolutely sure. It is better not to think about it".

Eriksson managed the England national team between 2001 and 2006, following significant managerial success in Italy and Portugal.

Eriksson with David Beckham after crashing out of the World Cup in 2006 (PA)
Eriksson with David Beckham after crashing out of the World Cup in 2006 (PA)

There had been speculation about his health after he stopped working as sporting director of Karlstad in his native Sweden.

Speaking to Swedish radio he was trying to be positive about his diagnosis: "See the positive in things, don't wallow in adversity, because this is the biggest adversity of course, but make something good out of it."

Eriksson told P1 that he had suddenly collapsed while going for a 5km run.

After seeing his doctors, it turned out that Eriksson had suffered a stroke and also had cancer.

He said: "They don't know how long I had cancer, maybe a month or a year".

Speaking to BBC World Service’s Sporting Witness, Eriksson said: "Well I thought I was fully healthy, but suddenly I got like a stroke, small strokes, so I fall. My children took me to the hospital and after one day of examination they told me that I got five small strokes but that’s okay they said, no problem, you will recover 100 per cent from that.

"But worse is they said you have cancer which we can’t operate and we will give you treatment, medicine and you’ll live as long as possible. But I have that diagnosis and they can’t operate it.

"When you get a message like that I think you appreciate every day and you’re happy when you wake up in morning and you feel okay. So that’s what I’m doing."

England posted on X: "Sending our love, Sven," while former England captain Wayne Rooney said: "Sad news this morning. Thoughts are with Sven Goran-Eriksson and his family. A brilliant coach and a special person. Loved and respected by everyone. We're all with you Sven, keep fighting."

Despite consistent qualifying success with the so-called 'golden generation', Eriksson never managed to crack the knockout competitions, failing to get past the quarter finals in the major tournaments in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

After quitting England, where he was succeeded by Steve McLaren, he went on to manage Manchester City, Mexico and Leicester City.

He had been working in Sweden as sporting director of Karistad Football before falling ill and discovering his diagnosis.