Roman Reigns thanks to WWE fans for all of their support after revealing he has cancer live on Monday Night Raw

The WWE Universal Champion, 33, real name Joe Anoa'i, relinquished his belt after speaking of his fight against leukaemia on Monday Night RAW.

Wrestling boss Vince McMahon, stars past and present and countless fans offered Reigns messages of support.

And he took the chance to thank them all with an emotional Twitter post.

The Big Dog wrote: "Thank you to everyone who's reached out… I can't put into words what it means to me.

"Your energy and positivity motivate me to get better quickly to get back in the ring, but for now I'm going to spend time with my family and focus on health.

"Thank you – Joe/Roman."

The message – which came after WWE released an official statement on the matter – has since gained more than 26,500 retweets and almost 115,000 likes.

Reigns, a dad of three, had earlier told the RAW audience: "I feel like I owe everyone an apology.

"For months, maybe even a whole year, I've come out here as Roman Reigns and said I'd come out here every week, that I'd be a fighting champion, that I was going to be consistent, that I was going to be a workhorse – but that's all lies.

"It's a lie because the reality is, my real name is Joe and I've been living with leukaemia for 11 years and unfortunately it's back.

"And because the leukaemia is back I cannot fulfil my role. I can't be that fighting champion and I'm going to have to relinquish the Universal Championship.

"I'm not going to lie, I'll take every prayer you can send my way, but I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm not looking for you to feel bad for me because I have faith.

"When I was 22 years old I was diagnosed with this. And very quickly I was able to put it in remission.

"But I'm not going to lie, that was the hardest time of my life. I didn't have a job, I didn't have any money, I didn't have a home and I had a baby on the way and football was done with me.

"But do you want to know who gave me a chance? The team that gave me a chance was the WWE."

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