The 74-year-old club boss went to hospital for a routine appointment to get his prostate checked, but doctors mistakenly booked him in for a full body scan, and discovered cancer in one of his lungs.

Stringfellow tells British newspaper the Sunday Mirror, "I was told if I'd waited until I had symptoms like coughing and wheezing it would have been too late to save me. I couldn't believe it when they said it was the Big C and it was lung cancer. I've never smoked in my life and it's the worst cancer you can get at my age. I'm a very lucky man. I'm alive because of a mistake, really."

Surgeons removed one of his ribs, half his lung and lymph nodes in an eight-hour operation, and he faced a long recovery before he was given the all clear.

Stringfellow insists he takes his health very seriously now, especially as he is expecting his second child with wife Bella in September (15).

He adds, "I'm not going to be around later... If I can make 85, I'll probably make 90. If I get through the first 10 then the next five will be fine, but by then I'll be one of Bella's children... "

Stringfellow and Bella also have a daughter named Rosabella and he has two other children from previous relationships.