Peterborough United legend Tommy Robson has revealed he is suffering from motor neurone disease.
The 75 year-old - whose 559 appearances for Posh is a club record - was diagnosed recently, but he’s determined to make the most of his remaining years.
Robson, who survived a triple by-pass heart operation six years ago, is due to see a specialist later this month when he will be told his life expectancy. There is no known cure for the disease.
He expects to have no more than three to four years to live so he hopes to be able to arrange a benefit football match and dinner to help pay for his care.
Robson lives with his wife Helen in Bretton. They live on their pensions.
“It’s all come as a shock,” Robson, who entertains sponsors and their guests at Posh home games, admitted, “as I’ve always been so active.
“But I am going to fight it for as long as I can. I’ve always done that. I thought I was a goner six years ago when I had a heart attack but I came through it.
“I first realised I had a problem about four months ago when my finger just locked.
“Most people apparently struggle with the muscles in their legs first, but for me it’s been in my arms. They are not working properly when I take them above waist height.
“There is no cure. There isn’t really any treatment apart from tablets so I’m now just waiting to hear how long I have left.
“Whatever they say I will keep working at the football club for as long as possible.
“In a way it’s harder for the families of sufferers than the sufferer themselves so I’m hoping to raise money to make things a bit easier for Helen in particular.
“The thought of a wheelchair and even a stairlift is not pleasant, but we will get on with things as best we can.
“It would be nice to arrange a game or a dinner to raise some money to help with my care.
“My son read that the illness has been linked with playing football in Italy so maybe I shouldn’t have kept playing so long. I was 62 when I last headed a ball!”
Robson moved to Posh from Newcastle United for a club record £20,000 in November 1968 and played for the club until 1981. Only Jim Hall has scored more than his 128 goals for Posh in the Football League era, while he also had a stint in the commercial department and a spell as youth team manager.
Robson also played for Northampton Town and Chelsea during his career.