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My last conversation with Mike Cockerill was a little over two weeks ago.

He was having a week on Magnetic Island, off Townsville. While he was enjoying the warmth and sunshine, the fact that he was there wasn’t good news. The original plan was for he and his wife, Jo, to be heading overseas that same weekend.

However, a blood marker showed that things weren’t good. If his haematologist said he shouldn’t travel overseas, Mike accepted that he wouldn’t and shouldn’t go – although not necessarily that he couldn’t!

We talked of many things in what turned out to be our final conversation. Of course, as always, the state of football was one of them. His contribution to football is immense and spans three decades. Recounting them is for another day.

But after having many conversations about the pathology of the myeloma he fought over the past seven years (I am a survivor of a similar blood cancer), it was clear that this time it was different. I could hear it in his voice.

I know many people who were on the football journey with him for decades, such as Andy Harper who had to call last night’s Socceroos match, and Ange Postecoglou, did not have a chance to say farewell.

From the initial diagnosis to yesterday, it was a seven-year embracing of life for Mike and Jo.

It is a measure of Mike’s optimism and energy that he didn’t let a diagnosis get in the way of leading the life he wanted. And it certainly didn't get in the way of his passion for football: it never waned.

Not so long ago he told me that he was living the dream and – if it’s any comfort to his many friends at FOX Sports - he loved his work and his colleagues.

In typical Mike fashion, there was no lingering when the end stage came. 

Peace be with you Mike. 


Categories: People | Football Life

mike cockerill

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