Rugby league legend Ray Price and his wife Sandy this week, who have both been diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Rugby league legend Ray Price and his wife Sandy this week, who have both been diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Nigel Hallett

‘We’ll beat the bastard’: Eels legend, wife battle cancer

Rugby league legend Ray Price and his wife of 20 years are both fighting cancer.

The Parramatta Eels champion and wife Sandy were diagnosed with life-threatening melanomas last year and are undergoing fortnightly chemotherapy treatment in a Gold Coast hospital.

"Sandy has stage 4 and I'm stage 3," Price, 67, told The Sunday Telegraph,

"The doctors are saying it's a million to one chance we could both have it together. It's been tough but we'll get through.

"People are suffering all over the world from coronavirus so who are we to complain.

"I don't care what the doctors say … we'll beat the bastard."

Renowned as one of the game's toughest ever players, Price previously beat bowel cancer in 2006.

He said he has been inspired every day by his wife's courage.

"Sandy's had it for 18 months, she never complains and she's so strong," Price said.

"She really is.

"I was diagnosed on Christmas Eve. Back in the old days I worked on building sites as a carpenter.

"Tradies never worried about the sun. I'd never wear a shirt because no-one knew better."

Price has kept news of his latest health battle a secret even from his closest old teammates.

He agreed to tell their story as a warning to others.

 

Price in action for the Parramatta Eels.
Price in action for the Parramatta Eels.

"We're quite private but it's important to let people know to go and get checked," he said.

"Maybe we can save one life. Who knows?

"If you've got a suspect spot on your skin, get it looked at. It's better than dying."

Price is a recently retired bus driver who had saved to buy a campervan to take his wife around Australia on a road trip this year.

Coronavirus and cancer put an end to their decade-long dream.

The couple has been married for more than 20 years and both remain determined to beat the illness. Picture: Jim Trifyllis.
The couple has been married for more than 20 years and both remain determined to beat the illness. Picture: Jim Trifyllis.

"We'll beat it and get away eventually," he said.

"Don't worry about that. You gotta stay positive. Sandy has just finished her treatment and I've got six months to go.

"It's every fortnight. It takes an hour where they put this stuff into your veins."

The NRL Hall of Famer, former Rothmans Medal and Dally M champion lives just south of the Queensland border at Tweed Heads.

"I had to apply for a permit to go into Queensland to get to hospital," he said.

Typical of Price he changes the topic throughout the interview.

This old warrior has always preferred talking rugby league.

"What's happened with those idiots doing all the stupid things during coronavirus," he asked.

"Think of others and pull your bloody heads in."

Originally published as 'We'll beat the bastard': Eels legend, wife battle cancer

Off the field, Price worked as a carpenter.
Off the field, Price worked as a carpenter.

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