'I'm in trouble': AFL icon Mark Robinson's grim health admission

·3-min read
Pictured here, AFL identity Mark Robinson talking about his health scare in 2021.
Mark Robinson has opened up about the events leading to his emergency open-heart surgery. Pic: News Corp

Mark Robinson has revealed frightening details of a recent health scare that led to the 53-year-old needing open-heart surgery.

The AFL 360 co-host was conspicuous by his absence towards the end of the 2021 season, and he's now opened up about the health scare that forced him to step away from his media roles.

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Robinson - who is also the Herald Sun chief footy writer - told News Corp's Saturday magazine V Weekend - that he knew he was "in trouble" when he suffered two medical episodes during round 18 in the AFL in July.

“I woke up and I can’t remember how I got to the position, but I was sitting on my bed and it was dark – I couldn’t breathe,” Robinson said.

“It was as though I couldn’t get any breath into my body and I was freezing cold. I thought: ‘I’m in trouble here. I’m in trouble’.

“It kicked off a sequence of events, which ended up with me walking into Goldfields Medical Centre at Warrandyte at about two minutes to nine o’clock. I walked in and said, ‘Hello, I’m in trouble’ – and I burst into tears.

Robinson - who made a heartwarming return for the final episode of AFL 360 in September - says he still gets "emotional" talking about his health scare.

The media identity said he was thankful for the outpouring of support he'd received from the AFL community during the tumultuous period.

Mark Robinson returned to AFL 360 after scare

He even managed to crack a joke at the expense of AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley on his return to the show.

“The first two weeks I couldn’t move, and then slowly, slowly and slowly I’ve gotten some strength back in my body,” Robinson revealed on AFL 360 at the time.

“I know I’m recovering because I was yelling at the TV screen the other week when you (Whateley) were talking c**p, and I was going come on, come on, let’s get some hard questions! But yeah, it’s been a struggle, but we’ve got through it, mate.

“We live this life of covering football and working in footy and the weekends come and I watch seven, eight, nine games, and the world just goes on around you.

Mark Robinson is seen here speaking on Fox Sports' AFL 360 show.
Mark Robinson returned to his role on Fox Sports' AFL 360 after suffering a serious health scare in July. Pic: Fox Sports

“And when something happens to you like it happened to me, it’s quite amazing the care and love and support you get. Certainly within footy.

“I’ve written some pretty pointed articles about people in recent times and those same people contacted me – not just once, twice, three times, four times. I’m not here to name all those people in footy but from AFL coaches, former AFL coaches, current players, former players, people I’ve written about harshly … yeah.

“And I’ve spoken to people about the footy family; it’s quite strong. I felt it. I suppose you’ve got to be nearly not covering football any more to feel the support; I won’t call it love, but certainly the support from the football industry was pretty overwhelming.”

Despite his scare, Robinson plans to return to AFL 360 alongside Whateley for the 2022 season.

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