Ex-Bradford Bulls star Adrian Purtell reveals horrifying cancer scare and his emotional journey with the illness

It’s fair to say if there was one rugby league player who has been through a lot, it is former Bradford Bulls star Adrian Purtell.

After suffering a heart attack on the field whilst playing for the West Yorkshire club over a decade ago, Purtell was also diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago.

Now, he has been an active ambassador for the disease and will be completing a heroic walk for cancer later on in the year.

The Sunshine Walk for Cancer Instagram profile did an interview with Purtell: “I remember the day I found out I had cancer. I did not really want to accept the news and kept it fairly private. I played footy the next day, perhaps to pretend like everything was normal.

“As soon as I entered the cancer centre I felt like I had a chance. The staff made myself and my small support network feel really comfortable and welcome, and I will always be grateful for that.

“The journey was tough and one that I am still on. The thought of chemo still makes me nauseous and unfortunately those closest to me felt the roller coaster of emotions more than anyone.

“A year later and life is good. I have been given more time to appreciate the little things in life and make the most of every moment.”

Purtell has signed up for the Sunshine Walk on Sunday, November 6 which marks over a year since his last chemotherapy session.

“I am hoping to raise money for the cancer centre so it can give other people like me a chance,” he said

“We are so lucky to have such an important facility in our area.”

Purtell made over 100 appearances in the NRL for Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers before moving to Bradford in 2012.

After five years at Odsal, the rangy centre moved to the London Broncos but made just ten appearances before moving back home to Australia.

Purtell is now the head coach of the Eden Tigers.

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