Doncaster’s Matty Blair: ‘I’m privileged to have had my brother in my life for 28 years’

21 March 2018 09:59
The midfielder lost his brother last July but it was not until he fainted while walking his dog that he sought help. Here he talks about what he has learnedMatty Blair was out walking Bruce, his beagle, as he does every morning before training, in the rows of fields behind his house in Rossington in September when he suddenly fainted while chatting with friends. He remembers feeling hot and bothered, taking off his coat and letting his dog off the leash to play, although, after that, the Doncaster Rovers midfielder does not really recall how he ended up on the floor. Crucially, what happened that morning prompted him to seek help, three months into what he describes as the toughest season of his life after the heartbreak of losing his older brother, Ross.“That was the eye-opener for everything else,” says Blair, admitting that, until then, he had neglected the impact Ross’s death had had on him personally, instead prioritising caring for his own family, including his father Andy, formerly of Aston Villa, and his baby son, Archie. Blair, in a classroom looking out over the Keepmoat Stadium, speaks so warmly about Ross, who died last July aged 32, and so openly about a summer that conjured up the cruellest of juxtapositions. Blair credits “mother’s instinct” for his mum, Dionne, ensuring his brother met Archie the day after he was born, as, a day later, Ross, who was diagnosed with a rare grade-four primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) in February 2014, suffered a big seizure, one he never truly recovered from. That weekend he was taken to the University hospital in Coventry before spending around six weeks at the Myton hospice in Warwick. Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian