In early 2010, Adam Stansfield experienced persistent abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital in March for tests. By April 8, 2010, Exeter City confirmed that he had been diagnosed with a form of colorectal cancer. Despite the somber news, Manager Paul Tisdale spoke highly of Stansfield, stating that he was a strong person who could handle the challenge.
In the following weeks, Stansfield underwent surgery to remove part of his colon, which was considered successful by club vice-chairman Julian Tagg. Stansfield returned to the Exeter squad for pre-season training in July but appeared weak due to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, his condition worsened rapidly and he passed away on August 10 in Exeter, with the news being announced shortly after Exeter‘s loss to Ipswich Town in the League Cup.
As a tribute to Stansfield, Dagenham & Redbridge postponed their game against Exeter, and the club retired his shirt number 9.
This season, his son Jay joined the club on loan from Fulham, Exeter allowed him to use his dad’s old number.
He scored a hat-trick on his final appearance for the club. What a story, his dad would be so proud!