K rock Football

Cancer scare for Whitley


GDFL president Neville Whitley. Picture: (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

LONG-serving GDFL president Neville Whitley is confident of there being no ongoing issues following surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his bowel.

Whitley, 78, went under the knife at Geelong’s St John of God Hospital last Wednesday and was released on Monday morning.

“A month or so back, I had a check-up, and they told me to go and have a colonoscopy, and they found a growth in my bowel,” Whitley told krockfootball.com.au.

“I had to go and get that out, and I’ve been in hospital the last five days.

“I had a trip to Bali 10 days before that, so I was away one week and in hospital the next week.

“Everything’s come out alright at this stage, and I get my results in another week, but the doctor is quite confident everything will be OK.”

It is the first major health scare for Whitley, who has been president of the GDFL since 1985.

“I had a prostate issue about ten years ago, and that got cleared up,” he said.

“This one was a bit out of the ordinary. I wasn’t (feeling) 100 per cent, and I went to the doctor for a check-up, and because my mum had cancer in her late 70s, he wanted it to get checked out a little bit further.

“Unfortunately, the government doesn’t give out the bowel screening packages for people over 74, so the last four or five years I haven’t had it.

“I could have gone and got one myself, but like most men, we think we’re invincible, and there’s nothing wrong with us.

“So, it might have been picked up earlier. But it’s been picked up now, and I’m on the mend.”

Whitley is hoping he will be able to attend the GDFL’s season launch at Buckley’s on April 3.

“I’ve got to take it easy for the next 4-5 weeks, but I’ll be out and about, and I’m looking forward to another good season,” he said.

“I’ve got to do a bit of walking, a bit of exercise, and watch what I eat.

“I’ll sit quiet for this week, and I’ll be up-and-about for next week and hopefully go to the launch night Wednesday week.”

And Whitley has a message for men who have put off going to see their doctor.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ve got to get checked,” he said.

“Guys need to use more common sense in looking after themselves.”

Twitter: @tom_king79