Talented cricketer dies from leukaemia

Essex County Standard: Talented cricketer dies from leukaemia Talented cricketer dies from leukaemia

BE Happy.

Those were the last words Rob George said to his dad Philip before he died.

Rob, 21, a popular member of Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club, died after a long fight with leukaemia.

He leaves mum and dad, Lorraine and Philip, and brothers Tom and Sam.

Mum Lorraine described Rob as the bravest man you could know.

She said: “Rob coped with the challenge of facing the end of his life just as he did the challenge of leukaemia – with courage, calmness and bravery.

“Rob and I had planned to cycle John O’Groats to Lands End after his treatment to help get him fit for the cricket season.

“Now I’ll cycle alone, I’ll call it Rob’s Ride. At least I’ll be able to go a little slower than Rob had intended.

“We have lost him and are heartbroken, but he was as courageous a young man as you will ever come across.”

Lorraine said Rob never complained or moaned.

She said: “He may very occasionally have said: ‘Mum, it is not fair’ but never ‘why me?’ “I don’t know how I would have dealt with it had it been me, but it would not have even been close to how Rob dealt with it.

“His last words to his dad were ‘be happy’.

“He was extraordinarily courageous. He made a difference.”

Rob, a former Colchester High, Colchester Royal Grammar School and Loughborough University student, was diagnosed with leukaemia on June 24, 2011.

He returned to university after successful treatment, but was told it had returned two years later.

A rare protein in his blood meant it was difficult to find a bone marrow donor.

About 400 people attended a session in Castle Park in September, organised by Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club, the Anthony Nolan Trust and his family, to try to find a match.

Tragically, no match could be found in time.

Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club announced his passing on its Facebook page.

It said: “It is with great sadness we have to report Rob George, 1st XI cricketer and son of the club president Philip George, passed away at 1.30am after a long and courageous battle with leukaemia.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Rob, who also played at Colchester Golf Club, was due to start cord blood match treatment until his condition worsened.

He was being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, but was told in late October there was no hope left.

He spent the last few weeks of his life at St Helena Hospice.

His dad, Philip, is a former managing partner at Birkett Long solicitors and his mum, Lorraine, runs the Lorraine George School of Dance, in Colchester.

***

TRIBUTES have flooded in to promising cricketer Rob George.

The fast bowler started playing regular senior cricket for Colchester and East Essex in the last year or so and was pushing for a place until the leukaemia returned.

Andrew Kennedy, cricket club chairman, said Rob had a lot of talent and was confident he would have been in the first team for ten or 15 years.

He said: “In the past few weeks, everyone has been talking to him on social network sites.

“He was tremendously committed and would travel back from Loughborough to play.

He was happy-go-lucky and did not have an enemy in the world.”

First team captain Joe Barnett said Rob was an inspiration to everyone at the club.

He said: “He never complained and acted with impeccable dignity. The way he handled himself in times of adversity is testament to his character and is an example for us all.

“He was a great bowler and a good batsman.

“I am sure he will be cheering the boys on every time they take the field and I’m sure they will endeavour to succeed on his behalf.

“Most importantly, and in his memory, we must encourage more people to sign up with the Anthony Nolan Trust, because the problem was he could not find a donor in time.”

Joe said the club’s thoughts were with Rob’s family.

He said: “They have lost a wonderful son and brother and we have lost an exceptional cricketer and even better friend.”

Henny Braund, chief executive of the Anthony Nolan Trust, said: “Rob was a brave and remarkable young man.

“The manner in which he dealt with his illness, the warmth and strength he showed throughout, marked him out as a special person.

“We are very sad indeed to hear of his death and deeply grateful for all of the support he gave us.

“We send our sincerest, most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

***

ROB’S brother Sam has written a song and is donating the proceeds to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Sam George wrote and performed Broken, using his brother Rob as inspiration. Speaking before his brother’s death, he said: “The song is inspired by my little brother, who is battling cancer for a second time.

“He has got leukaemia.

“He has beaten it once, but it has come back. I was inspired by his strength in dealing with the situation, not letting himself be broken by it.”

The song will be released on January 6 and will be available to download. The family hope those who download may pay a little more because the moneywill fund research to stop another family losing a loved one so young.

Comments (4)

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10:05am Wed 11 Dec 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Over Forty years ago I lost a brother, aged Twenty Three, who suffered the rigours of Cancer for Three years.

I feel for this family in their time of grief. RIP Rob.
Over Forty years ago I lost a brother, aged Twenty Three, who suffered the rigours of Cancer for Three years. I feel for this family in their time of grief. RIP Rob. Say It As It Is OK?

2:06pm Wed 11 Dec 13

CO6 resident says...

'"BE happy."

Those were the last words Rob George said to his dad Philip before he died.'

This comment isn't in any way designed to detract from the sorrow of the news, but the only basis someone could honestly say such a thing, is because at some point in their life they've told the person they're saying it to, that they love Jesus.

Any other reason would be trite, meaningless and empty words. There is no true happiness unless your faith and trust is in the Saviour of sinners.

Religousness is not what is required. Obedience to the Gospel message of repentance and giving our creator God the glory, is what matters.

Cue the negative remarks and down arrows from the hypocrites who will be celebrating the birth of Christ this month.
'"BE happy." Those were the last words Rob George said to his dad Philip before he died.' This comment isn't in any way designed to detract from the sorrow of the news, but the only basis someone could honestly say such a thing, is because at some point in their life they've told the person they're saying it to, that they love Jesus. Any other reason would be trite, meaningless and empty words. There is no true happiness unless your faith and trust is in the Saviour of sinners. Religousness is not what is required. Obedience to the Gospel message of repentance and giving our creator God the glory, is what matters. Cue the negative remarks and down arrows from the hypocrites who will be celebrating the birth of Christ this month. CO6 resident

4:10pm Wed 11 Dec 13

smiles2000 says...

My thoughts are with all his family and friends at this sad time. I read about him in the Gazette in the summer and went along and got tested sorry I was not any help.
My thoughts are with all his family and friends at this sad time. I read about him in the Gazette in the summer and went along and got tested sorry I was not any help. smiles2000

10:26am Sun 15 Dec 13

supermum[] says...

My thoughts are with rob's family and friends at this very sad time.i had seen rob's story on the internet in October and highlighted his plight to down hatherley cricket club, where my husband plays, to encourage young cricketers to sign up on the bone marrow register.
I also highlighted about "rob's search for a donor" in an article titled "raising awareness" that was published in Lancashire living magazine 100th edition.it is a free magazine that is circulated to 75000 households in south East Lancashire.my article was also in memory of the loss of my brother, Robert, to leukaemia in 1978.
I am continuing to encourage more guys to join the bone marrow register by regularly attending my local football club and the club has anthony nolan link on their league tables website.
R.I.P Rob George.
My thoughts are with rob's family and friends at this very sad time.i had seen rob's story on the internet in October and highlighted his plight to down hatherley cricket club, where my husband plays, to encourage young cricketers to sign up on the bone marrow register. I also highlighted about "rob's search for a donor" in an article titled "raising awareness" that was published in Lancashire living magazine 100th edition.it is a free magazine that is circulated to 75000 households in south East Lancashire.my article was also in memory of the loss of my brother, Robert, to leukaemia in 1978. I am continuing to encourage more guys to join the bone marrow register by regularly attending my local football club and the club has anthony nolan link on their league tables website. R.I.P Rob George. supermum[]

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