Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make Sure You Look after Tomorrow but Enjoy Today

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make Sure You Look after Tomorrow but Enjoy Today

Article excerpt

Byline: By Craig Hope

In the second part of our exclusive interview with Glenn Roeder, the United manager talks to Craig Hope about his life-threatening brain tumour.

Three years ago last week, on the very same day he was appointed permanent manager of Newcastle United, Glenn Roeder was having a brain tumour removed.

His life hung in the balance, his future in football management decidedly bleak.

Four weeks earlier he had collapsed in his manager's office at West Ham. Doctors kept him asleep for five days while they checked over every organ in his body.

Roeder remembers: "My wife sat and watched as I was kept asleep for five days. My family coped really well and perhaps they kept their true feelings away from me."

His family, wife Faith, Holly, 21, William, 18 and Joseph, 11, did not know if they would see their husband and father again. But Roeder is a fighter and six weeks later he was back at West Ham.

"I was back in pre-season training with a scar from ear to ear. I only needed a bolt in my neck and I would have got a part in Frankenstein!"

I ask him if it is a miracle that he is here today. "I wouldn't say it is a miracle. The tumour was in a position where the surgeon could get to it.

"I consider myself lucky because I have come through it.

"Emlyn Hughes got a brain tumour after me and tragically he's not with us anymore - that's how I say I'm lucky."

Having come through the tumour, I ask Roeder if he sees the rest of his life in the North East. Again, his "take nothing for granted" attitude is apparent.

"That's a big statement." He's been through too much just to nod along and agree with me.

"If someone said to me three years ago you will manage Newcastle I would say that's impossible.

"But when you get knocked to the floor, if you get up you have not failed because you're moving on.

"The easiest thing for me to do three years ago was to say that's enough, to find a nice beach and get the deck chair out.

"That didn't even cross my mind. I would like to think that people have found inspiration from what has happened to me over the last few years."

He talks to me directly. "This includes you - we all hang by a thread.

"People say, 'it won't happen to me', but it does. It happened to me. You have to make sure that you look after tomorrow but at the same time enjoy today."

Why then does this man, a family man who loves his wife and children, want to risk putting himself, and them, through the same again?

"It was never to do with stress. The surgeons told me that. They said we would never advise you not to go back and work in football.

"I have felt fantastic since. But then again I felt fine before the tumour."

When Roeder first took over the reigns from Graeme Souness in February, he was adamant it was a temporary appointment. …

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