Wednesday 17 October 2018

Ex-GAA star Eric speaks about brain tumour battle

Eric Philpott
Eric Philpott
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A GAA star has been hailed an inspiration over his decision to publicly speak about his brave battle with a brain tumour.

Former Cork player and current Ballincollig team selector Eric Philpott (67) underwent surgery in September and is making a good recovery.

Eric, a star of the Cork football team in the 1960s, admitted that losing an All-Ireland final was nothing compared with the feeling over the 10 days he waited between his brain scan and the resultant operation.

"It was the worst 10 days of my life...I will never forget it because they couldn't tell me how serious it was. Losing those finals in 1967 was nothing compared to that," he said.

Eric was a key member of the Cork football team that lost the 1967 All-Ireland title to Meath despite the Rebels having led the match at half-time.

He bravely spoke about his health battle to encourage others to get any medical concerns checked promptly.

"I am very lucky," the retired teacher said.

"My family pushed me to get it checked and sorted. I have no complications. But another week could have made all the difference because it had started to grow."

Doctors were able to remove 95pc of the growth and the prognosis is now positive as Eric is responding well to an intensive radiotherapy course.

Eric, who was back on his feet just five days after the surgery, said he had been overwhelmed by the response to his health battle.

Ballincollig, nicknamed 'The Village', won their first ever Cork senior title last month with the players widely believed to have been inspired to perform for their ill selector.

Eric initially put moments of forgetfulness and lack of concentration down to the stress of Ballincollig's championship run and his age. However, his son Joe insisted he have an MRI scan which revealed the tumour.

Irish Independent

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