Tonight we have a special Member of Sydney FC taking the pre-match coin toss on the field.
49 year old Denis Corkery, a 10 year Member of the Sky Blues, has battled through health issues to be at Allianz Stadium tonight to cheer on his beloved Sydney FC and he explains his story below.
Corkery suffers from Burkitt’s Lymphoma and says he first noticed the signs while attending a Sydney Derby at Pirtek Stadium.
“The final game of the 12/13 season in Parramatta, I ignored chest pains & jumped on the Cove Express from Central and joined the march up to the Wanderers’ stadium.
“A bunch of "solid" lads in the Cove fell back with me to make sure I got in alright and afterwards friends dropped me off at RPA's ER & it was found that I'd had a mild heart attack & required a stent put in.
“I ended up in Cardio for a month and about a year after the cardio issues I was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma which comes under the Umbrella of Leukaemia Cancers.
“That required six months off work, four of which were spent in RPA's Haematology ward receiving very aggressive chemo treatment and the previous year's medical issues had left me without sick leave.
“At this point I must make it clear that both the Club & The Cove paid no small part in my recovery. I had moral boosting visits, all my blood family are in NZ, from guys in the supporter's group & a surprise visit from the club in the form of Peter Triantis, Bernie Ibini-Isei & Paul Reid.
“In addition I am in deep humble appreciation of the generosity shown by both the Club & The Cove for a fund raising night held at The Bat & Ball Hotel at a time of extreme financial hardship I was able to keep my membership & head above water. It was a humbling experience and I consider myself really lucky.”
Corkery said he’s anticipating a 3-1 victory for the Sky Blues tonight as he said that taking the coin toss will bring closure to what he said was an awful year for himself.
“Discovering I had been selected for the coin toss today really brought home to me what great friends I have made in this club's ten year history and the people it has brought together.
"For me it helps close the door on a year that although was pretty awful in many ways, it could have been much bleaker without my real football family, Sydney FC & Australian sports' best supporters.”
Sydney FC take on Adelaide United tonight in an elimination semi-final at Allianz Stadium. Purchase your tickets now and be there to cheer on the Sky Blues in this must win game.