Thursday 27 October 2016

Terminally ill Leicester fan who said title challenge was keeping him alive has died

Callum Davis

Published 20/04/2016 | 10:57

Tony Skeffington passed away after a battle with cancer Credit: Tony Skeffington Facebook
Tony Skeffington passed away after a battle with cancer Credit: Tony Skeffington Facebook

A terminally ill Leicester City who said the Foxes' title challenge was helping him fight cancer has sadly passed away.

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Despite being born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, Tony Skeffington became a life-long Leicester City fan from a young age and was avidly following his side's unlikely title challenge 10,000 miles away.

Skeffington was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in late 2015 but vowed to fight the disease by all means possible, using his team's against-the-odds campaign as an inspiration.

The fanatical Fox's battle with cancer became an inspirational to neutrals and Leicester fans alike, as well as the oncologist who was treating Skeffington.

"People who have never supported football are following Leicester City because of what it means to Tony," said his wife, Donna.

A number of Leicester City fans have paid their respects to Tony's family after reading about his story online.

Leicester City's miraculous season proved an inspiration to Tony despite his dire prognosis from doctors.

"Watching Leicester come back from their relegation fight and seeing how well they're doing this season is helping me fight this," he said in March.

"When I was given four weeks to live last year they picked themselves up and so I picked myself up.

Tony's wife, Donna, said the success of Claudio Ranieri's side was helping her husband to focus on something positive.

"Leicester City is keeping him alive," she said in March.

Tony even backed his beloved side to win the Premier LEague at the start of the season for odds of 3,000/1.

The father of three cashed out of his bet with Leicester sitting top of the table in February, ensuring an £18,000 profit on his £10 stake.

“I am more concerned about the team winning than the money.

“It’s a hell of a lot of money, but it’s only that amount because Donna pressed the wrong button - it was meant to be a $2 bet.”

Tony and Leicester City's story is the subject of an ABC television documentary in Australia.

"I have been speaking with Tony about his incredible passion for Leicester City and we are part way through filming a story with him for our programme," said ABC presenter, Alex Mann.

"We'll be talking with him about the massive turn around in fortunes for the club, but also focusing on his belief that the team's recent successes have really helped him in his battle with cancer."

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