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A big thanks to Kevin Sheedy

 Comments (47) jump to end

There are many memories of our great 1980s team and also the fine players who brought us success after the barren years of the 1970s. I am sure that we all have our favourite moments — be it Sharpy's winner at Anfield or Andy Gray putting the frighteners on Bayern Munich.

One of my own, was Kevin Sheedy's free kick in the FA Cup Semi-Final v Luton. We were losing... time was running out... and I was overheard saying that we should let Sheedy do his stuff — and it brought comments of utter disbelief from a fellow Blue who let me know in no uncertain terms that Sheedy was having a nightmare. Anyway, before he could finish, Kevin had cut him short — you all know why. "Bless you, Kevin Sheedy," I thought back then!!!

And bless you now — for being so open with the bowel cancer that you went through and the advice that you gave to people about what to do if they had any worries. Kevin Sheedy's comments went a long way to making me think that I should contact my own doctor. The symptoms were a bit sporadic and could have been one of several things — myself, I had three possible culprits: bowel cancer, Crohn's disease, or some kind of food intolerance.

Anyway, last Tuesday I had an initial endoscopy and was given the news that I have bowel cancer. A couple of days ago I had a colonoscopy — which really worried me (being a complete wus who avoids the messy bits in any TV medical drama!!) — but the news was a bit better as there was no sign of any cancer in the colon. It's been a very emotional time as I am sure you can all imagine; things that I would normally think, "Oh, well... I will soon sort that out" have really upset me. For instance, I am usually pretty good at planning my Christmas Shopping... but the fact that I was completely thrown out of sync had me in a state.

And, to cap it all, on Friday when I was on my way for the colonoscopy, the taxi driver (a Coventry City fan) asked me who my team was playing tomorrow? I couldn't remember — I felt really awful! I always know who we are playing. I managed to sus it out when they were part way through the examination!!!

I have named the growth/tumour (whatever the technical term for it is) Suarez!!! My wife has promised me that if (or should I say when) I beat this, she will buy me an Everton Season Ticket. The things we Evertonians go through to support our team — above and beyond or what!!! I look forward to sorting out the logistical problems of travelling from Lincoln for as many games at Goodison as possible!!!

If you are worried about bowel cancer, or anything like that, then don't delay: contact your doctor. Yes, it's scary — I am the scardiest, wussiest bloke there is, as I am sure my family will tell you; so please, please do speak to your doctor.

Happy Christmas everyone, and have a great New Year. Blessings to You and Yours.
Michael Brien, Lincoln     Posted 23/12/2012 at 15:05:43

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Reader Comments

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Ian Allaker
687 Posted 23/12/2012 at 19:14:26
Happy Christmas to you too Michael, and good luck. Give that scum bag Suarez a good beating!
Ken Buckley
690 Posted 23/12/2012 at 19:19:26
Michael, you are far from a 'Wus'. Just writing the post was most brave. You look as though you have caught it early which has to be good news and an outcome to match your man Kevin.

Merry Christmas and all the very best.
Brent Stephens
692 Posted 23/12/2012 at 19:30:41
I'm sure all Twebbers wish you the best, Michael. Hope you see the last of your "Suarez".
Andrew James
703 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:04:06

Firstly - I wish you well and hope your recovery is swift.

Secondly, it was indeed very brave of you to submit this post. Bowel diseases whether they be Cancerous or the Crohn's you refer to, are horrible conditions and much harder to explain to people because visibly, on the outside, you might not look too bad.

I think the case of Darren Fletcher recently has shown that this is a Taboo area but look how his condition nearly ended his career.

A colonscopy is an unpleasant experience but with any bowel conditions, it's just one in a long line of them. The main thing is that you had the sense to get it checked out and now hopefully you will recover.

All the best to your and your family.


Colin Wainwright
707 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:17:25
Good luck mate. Hope you get shot of your cheatin' Uruguayan bastard. All the best man.
Andrew James
708 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:22:07
And guys...

Suarez is many things on the field (a cheat, a cocky little sod, a racist by all accounts) but to call him a cancer is going too far.

We're better than that.

Brian Garside
709 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:21:36
Michael. Please give it a surname. I am sure that it would be an inspired choice by a man with his head screwed on.

Enjoy this Christmas knowing that you have many more to follow.

John Wright
713 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:34:30
Your bravery will see you through. Best wishes to you and your family.
Peter Mills
715 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:46:03
Michael, I had the good fortune to have a long chat with Kevin a few years ago. Amongst many things I spoke with him about that match, and the fact that he was taking a bit of stick from the supporters. He laughed, and said he was taking a LOAD of stick, but that never, ever worried him because he knew within him that he had the power to produce a goal or a cross for a goal at any time.

I hope you can find that same force within you to beat your illness. Happy Christmas and good health.
Brian Waring
716 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:49:47
Good luck Michael and best wishes.
Michael Kenrick
717 Posted 23/12/2012 at 20:58:20
Hmmm...(#708)... is calling your cancer "Suarez" actually the same as calling Suarez a cancer?

I'm not sure it is.

Where's Ciaran when we need him???

Nick Entwistle
719 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:02:42
Calling Suarez a cancer is chemo-heresy.


Andrew James
724 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:08:34

That was terrible...I am North West London so I will hunt you down if such bad jokes persist

I'm only 34 so I vaguely recall the Sheedy goal Michael mentioned in his article - was that the Luton team managed by Pleat with players like Ricky Hill and Brian Stein? Didn't we run into them a few times in the cup?

Patrick Murphy
727 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:26:04
We played them in 86 and were 2-0 down on that plastic pitch (I think so!) and we came back to draw 2-2 and Lineker scored the winner in the replay at Goodison.

Andrew James
730 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:37:20
Patrick was that for the '86 final? The worst final ever...
Jim Knightley
732 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:35:57
Very brave post Michael... Good luck with everything, and I hope you have a prompt recovery.

I also think the naming of your cancer growth 'Suarez' is more than a little fantastic.

Si Mar
733 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:43:42
Good luck mate, my Mum died of advanced bowel cancer a few years ago at a young age and your advice is superb.

The game in question I went to when I was 11 years old v Luton at Villa Park, Everton were awful and Sheedy scored in the last minute "He drove one"?!! He then put a wonderful set piece for Mountfields winner, sadly we last the final a few days after Rotterdam but what a season!!

Im 40 next year and Im going to get checked up.
Good luck and take care, funny enough Kevin Sheedy now lives in the same road as my Dad!


Si Mar
735 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:47:47
PS, that was 1985, the draw on the plastic pitch when we came from 2 down was in 1986.
Patrick Murphy
736 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:50:19
The final was as far as I was concerned the worst final's all a blur but I know what happened.....Luton was the QF and we beat Sheff Wed in the Semi, Sharpie scored a cracker at Villa Park.
Nick Entwistle
737 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:54:25
Log on to TFL to check the local travel restrictions, James.

Good luck Michael, reads like you've caught it early.

Michael Brien
738 Posted 23/12/2012 at 21:07:37
Michael - a vey good point where is Ciaran ? Have I started a legal controversy here ??!!! The last thing that I intended to do I can assure you of that !!!

Andrew - my wife told me that it is reckoned to be a good idea to "personalise" it in some way - usually by giving it a name. Suarez is I think currently our least favourite "Red". As a kid back in the 1960's I remember we used to sing " Oh we hate Bill Shankly and we hate St. John, but most of all we hate big Ron and we'll hang the Kopites one by one on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey............" Applying the same type of principle we would have been advocating rather serious violence indeed would we not ??!!!!And of course we weren't - it was just a great song that made us all smile.

And I am certainly not suggesting that Mr Suarez is a cancer..............I just thought it would be a good name to call my cancer and one to make fellow Evertonians laugh.Anyway it's too late now, it has been named!!!!!!!Anyway I thought it would express a hope and desire that both my team and myself would have great success against Suarez in the coming new year !!!

Nick - " chemo heresy" I like that it made me laugh!!!!

My consultant when he gave me the initial news, spoke to both me and my wife and said that he and the other doctors and nurses and he included my wife and said " We are the team that's supporting him.........He is the star player......He's Rooney" I said to him "Can't I at least be an Everton player?!!!

Many thanks to everyone for all your good wishes and encouragement. If (I know it should be when ) I beat this I shall certainly aim to get as much use as I can out of that season ticket - even going to midweek games - what a wonderful thing flexi time is!!!!!

Andrew James
740 Posted 23/12/2012 at 22:11:38
Michael - totally understand - I did something similar when I had my large intestine removed. When that happened, I was lucky enough to see us during the Royle era when we won the cup. Here's hoping you get a likewise distraction!

Nick - Notting Hill is only a short walk from Kilburn mate ;0)

Mark Lennon
745 Posted 23/12/2012 at 22:41:30
Good luck, Micheal. A really inspiring post. Bet you can't wait for the season ticket, fingers crossed for some Champions League nights as wel!

Have a great Xmas and New Year. I'm sure the whole Everton family will be behind you with this.
Nick Entwistle
747 Posted 23/12/2012 at 23:01:34
Holland Park, Andrew!
Andrew James
748 Posted 23/12/2012 at 23:12:27
Flipping heck - that's a bit posh!
Nick Entwistle
749 Posted 23/12/2012 at 23:14:22
I live on a road where an Aston Martin is passe, but down the more darker sinister end. Doesn't stop pints being £4.60 a turn though.
Andrew James
753 Posted 23/12/2012 at 23:26:08
Nick - £4.60 for a pint is always a disgrace and, secondly, are there many Toffees near you?

I've encountered 2 up here and one was wearing the dreadful pink shirt!

Nick Entwistle
754 Posted 23/12/2012 at 23:35:20
None! Only encounter Toffee's when they're down in London on a stag and catching the game in the pub. Not the £4.60 pub next door, the £3.80 for a Fosters in Bayswater.
Shaun Sparke
760 Posted 24/12/2012 at 00:25:09

I don’t know you, have never met you and the chances are we will never meet. In a world where many people held all night vigils and our newspapers had 14 page special pull-outs when they found out that the duchess of Cambridge was suffering with nothing more than morning sickness. I sometimes find it a little difficult to have genuine sympathy for the ailments and troubles of others.

However, you are a blue, you are one of us, we are a special breed and we are not like other fans. We have a uniqueness that others don’t understand. Others may think that their club is special but we know in our hearts that the rest are just football clubs, but being an Evertonian is much more than that. You belong to a special breed and the positive thoughts of every true Evertonian will be sent your way.

My own father who is now 78 and is a lifelong blue is also fighting his biggest battle. However, when the West Ham result came through yesterday, he was jumping around the house like an 8-year-old at Christmas who has just found a brand new bike under the tree. Once Everton is in your blood, it will never go away.

Keep your chin up mate, win this battle then get back to Goodison as soon as you can.
Kevin Tully
772 Posted 24/12/2012 at 00:58:58
Michael, do you remember the Sheedy free-kick that was ruled out against Ipswich at Goodison, in the Cup I think? Feck, that might even be the wrong team.

He then floated it into the other corner on the re-take. One of my favourite ever moments at a game.

Good luck my friend, a very brave post, and Suarez is a superb moniker!!

Derek Thomas
776 Posted 24/12/2012 at 05:50:16
Michael; been down that colonoscopy road, luckily came through... but I do believe that Saurez and other's antics ARE cancer on the game and should be radically rooted out.

Show it the red card... and come through the other end.

Michael Brien
808 Posted 24/12/2012 at 10:43:50
Kevin – you are right, it was Ipswich in the FA Cup, I wasn't there and unfortunately I don't think it's on film – I will have to check the 1984-85 DVD. I don't think even Roy of The Rovers managed to do something like that!!!!
Nick - £4.60 a pint!! Wow, the scary thing is that maybe in 10 or 15 years time people will be talking with nostalgia about the days when it was less than a fiver for a pint!!!

Shaun – I loved the bit about your Dad's reaction to the win at West Ham!!! My best wishes to him in his big battle. I hope that he will be jumping around the house celebrating an FA Cup Final win this season!!!

Again many many thanks to all of you for the messages of encouragement – and my very best wishes to anyone else out there going through "similar stuff". Remember Wembley 1966 and Goodison May 1994 v Wimbledon. And of course the 1994-95 season!!!

I remember taking some " friendly" stick from some work mates during September and October (I think it ended v West Ham – I was over from Lincoln for the previous match v Arsenal !!!) as the "winless" run continued – I recall having a feeling that we would win the Cup that season and was tempted to put some money on us – and I have to confess I didn't!!!

Brian Denton
812 Posted 24/12/2012 at 11:22:11
Sheedy's twice-taken free kick is on film or should be, because I distinctly remember seeing it on Match of the Day. I saw it at the game too.

Good article, and good luck. Naming a cancer has a distinguished precedent – Dennis Potter called his 'Rupert' after the admirable Mr Murdoch.

Eugene Ruane
814 Posted 24/12/2012 at 11:28:48
I think calling a cancer Suarez is fine and people shouldn't be so sensitive. Actually cancer naming is not new. Dennis Potter (writer of the superb 'The Singing Detective') named his cancer 'Rupert' after Murdoch – genius!

Michael, hope everything goes well and you get the same result as Sheeds.
Eugene Ruane
815 Posted 24/12/2012 at 11:39:58
Wow!! Brian, how spooky is THAT!? Writing more or less the same thing at more or less the same time!
Tony J Williams
819 Posted 24/12/2012 at 12:06:30
Good luck Michael, beat that bastard Suarez.
Andy Amey
823 Posted 24/12/2012 at 12:19:48
Hello Michael,

Why do bad things happen to good people? There is no rhyme or reason and I think that whatever gets you through this is fine and understandable.

I was in the Holte End for the Luton game and I have to tell you that I was responsible for Sheedy's goal. With 3 minutes left we got the free kick and in a last ditch effort I took out my lucky half n half bobble hat. (Half Everton half Celtic for those too young to remember.) The rest is, as they say, is history.

Anyway Merry Christmas to all and god bless you, Michael.

Ray Roche
830 Posted 24/12/2012 at 13:32:11
Michael, sorry to hear that, mate. It's not an easy road to follow but I hope that with your wife and family, and there's 35,000 of us, praying for you things will turn out right .I've been down a similar road myself, but took the Crohns turnoff, so I can have some empathy with you. Good Luck.

Colonoscopy's...they're fun, aren't they? (NB: for those a little unsure as to what a colonoscopy is, well, a very small cameraman takes his Nikon, or Box Brownie, and climbs up yer bottom for a photoshoot. When he gets the film back from Boots they can see what is going on up there. It's bit unpleasant but that's all: unpleasant. But important. ANYONE who thinks that there's something not quite right with your trumper, as Michael says, then see a doctor. Now.)

Ed Fitzgerald
834 Posted 24/12/2012 at 13:53:46

A very brave and touching post. Good luck with kicking seven bells out of Suarez. I lived in Lincoln for two and half years and had a season ticket (I don't drive) it is a terrible place to get too! - Sunday games at 4 were a nightmare my mates used to laugh at me for my madness/dedication. Try to remember Sheedys Vs at the Kop when he belted that free kick in for further inspiration.

Good luck mate

Tony Waring
844 Posted 24/12/2012 at 15:45:24
Blimey Ed (834) you must be unique having a season ticket for Lincoln and as for driving all the way there and back to see a match ! You have my undying admiration. Tongue in cheek !
Jay Harris
849 Posted 24/12/2012 at 16:23:05
Very best of luck with your health and thank you for reminding us of one of the best periods in our history.

See if the surgeon will let you stand on Suarez before they get rid of it.

Lee Courtliff
850 Posted 24/12/2012 at 16:26:03
Good luck mate.

Merry Christmas to you and all your family.

Colin Grierson
882 Posted 24/12/2012 at 20:49:49
Good luck to you, Michael. As the song goes... Fight, fight, fight with all your might...

I can't think of a better name than Suarez to call your cancer! Get well soon mate.

Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year! COYB!
Brendan McLaughlin
892 Posted 24/12/2012 at 22:44:52
From one wus to another....all the very best Michael.
Mike Gaynes
964 Posted 25/12/2012 at 18:13:54
Michael, best wishes for a full and fast recovery. Sheedy is the player who first turned me into a Blue, but I think his impact on your life will turn out to be far greater. I'm glad you listened to him.

And I think your choice of a name for your tumor is inspired. I'm having my own colonoscopy next week -- like many old farts, I get one every five years as a checkup -- and in your honor I think we should refer to the access point for that procedure as the Suarez Canal.

Si Cooper
126 Posted 26/12/2012 at 21:18:12
Good luck Michael. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult period.
Paul Dark
209 Posted 27/12/2012 at 11:36:38
Good luck, mate. All courage!

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