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‘I’ll get through this’: Bulldogs cult hero Robinson facing cancer battle

“They do the radiation 20 to 30 minutes each day and chemo goes for four hours a day.

“You get a lot of side effects: you don’t taste food, you don’t get hungry. I’ve gone from 94kg down to 70kg.

“They’re a bit concerned with that, but there’s this tube they tie to your stomach and you can feed yourself through there and get nutrition.

“I must say the doctors at Liverpool Hospital are marvellous. The nurses and everyone here have got to put up with a lot of stuff, especially with COVID, but they do a wonderful job.

“I can’t speak highly enough of them. They deserve to be paid more money, especially dealing with cranky bastards like me.”

Canterbury legend Geoff Robinson.

Canterbury legend Geoff Robinson.

Ever since the diagnosis, Robinson has been inundated with calls from former players keen to lift his spirits. Bulldogs sponsor Arthur Laundy checks in on him daily and the likes of Steve Roach, Terry Lamb, Mark Carroll, Ben Elias, Joe Thomas – “the list goes on and on” – have brightened his day with phone calls of support.

“It keeps me going, people like that ringing me,” he said. “People talk to you, they tell you to fight. They bring up things from the past; if you won that, you can win this.

“I’m just lost for words sometimes; I don’t know what to say to people. Sometimes you get a bit down and then you get a phone call and that picks you up.

“It’s such a great era because we are still mates after all this time. I can’t thank them enough. It helps me to keep on fighting. Having so many people ring me up only makes me fight harder and harder.

“I couldn’t have a better family. I’ve got seven kids and 17 grandchildren. They have been incredible. I’m lucky to have such a great family.

“This is the biggest [challenge of my life]. One of my sons rang me this morning and said, ‘Dad, look, you’re one of the toughest blokes I’ve ever seen. This is the toughest thing you’ve been through and you will win’.

“They gee me up and keep me going, my sons and daughters and wife. My wife is unbelievable to put up with me for 45 years.”

For a hard man from a hard era, prior to his cancer diagnosis, Robinson was in good physical shape.

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“I haven’t had any real problems, just a bit of soreness and arthritis, but that comes with age anyway,” he said.

“I think I’ve done pretty good to get this far.”

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