Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson was dropped for his club's knockout final against GWS this weekend just hours after admitting on national televisi
Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson was dropped for his club’s knockout final against GWS this weekend just hours after admitting on national television that his wife’s cancer battle was ‘taking its toll’.
Kellie Finlayson was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2021 – usually terminal – just three months after giving birth to the couple’s first child Sophia and she has been on constant bouts of chemotherapy treatment since.
The family was rocked by false reports that she was ‘cancer free’ in June this year, resulting in a flood of traumatic messages congratulating them while the fight for her life was still very much on.
Finlayson with Kellie and daughter Sophie has been struggling with his wife’s cancer battle
While Kellie has terminal stage four cancer, it has stopped spreading and there is cause for hope for the young family
The official side was announced on Wednesday, with Finlayson’s name not on the team sheet, just hours after they had appeared on Seven’s The Morning Show.
‘It’s been a rocky road, it’s been a long 18 months,’ Finlayson said.
‘It’s kind of taken its toll, I won’t lie about that. Lately, the past three or four weeks, it’s taken its toll and it shows in footy.
‘I’ve tried to put a brave face on through everything, just looking at how strong Kellie is and just trying to be her rock and just trying to put a smile on her face out on the football ground for her and Soph and trying to provide for them while she’s going through such a difficult battle. It’s all that I can do.’
Finlayson moved from the Giants to Port Adelaide in 2022 and had his best season this year, kicking 38 goals – second only to his stellar 2019 when he booted 44 for GWS.
However his form has sharply dipped in the last six which has coincided with Port’s late season struggles.
Finlayson, pictured right, played in the club’s qualifying final against the Brisbane Lions but has been cut for the knockout clash against GWS
Kellie was optimistic on Wednesday, saying they are ‘not out of the woods’ yet but that the cancer had stopped spreading.
‘Obviously, with a terminal diagnosis, it’s not common for things to turn around as well as they have for me,’ Kellie said.
‘The chemotherapy and all the alternate therapies that I’ve been doing and putting myself through have worked, which is obviously fantastic, but we’re not out of the woods, and I’ve got to be realistic with the fact that I still have cancer and, although things aren’t spreading and things are getting better, I am still going through the emotions of what’s to come.’
St Kilda great Leigh Montagna said Finlayson’s form had dropped and the harsh call needed to be made.
‘He hasn’t played well for six to eight weeks,’ he said.
‘He’s been out of form and they’ve had to make a choice.’