Sandy Roberts leaves AFL fans devastated with shocking diagnosis

After a fall in May last year, Sandy Roberts was left in disbelief by what doctors informed him following x-rays.

Sandy Roberts.
Former AFL broadcaster Sandy Roberts has revealed he has been diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Pictures: Getty Images

AFL broadcaster Sandy Roberts has left the footy world in shock after revealing he was diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer, 12 months ago. The popular sports presenter, 73, learned of the diagnosis following an x-ray after a fall.

Roberts has now taken his diagnosis public in a bid to raise awareness about the form of cancer, which has no known cause or cure. It is also considered to be one of the most deadly forms of cancer, having the distinction of being the blood cancer with the lowest survival rate.

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Roberts, a media veteran who called more than 1100 AFL games throughout his illustrious career, told the Herald Sun he had decided the time was right to share his story, in the hopes of making people more aware of the disease. He is supporting not-for-profit organisation Myeloma Australia's upcoming Tax Appeal fundraising effort.

“I ended up in hospital and was told I didn’t have any broken bones or internal injuries, but that I did have cancer," Roberts said. “Just like that; we had no idea.

"If I hadn’t fallen, who knows what would have been the outcome. It was such a shock. I’d had open heart surgery three months earlier and came out of that feeling good.”

Roberts called time on his 46-year broadcasting career back in 2019. During that time he was on the microphone for a whopping 19 AFL grand finals, 25 Australian Open grand slams, as well as several Olympic and Winter Olympic events.

Sandy Roberts diagnosis prompts outpouring of support

On social media, fans were quick to send Roberts their well-wishes. Many were left shocked by the diagnosis and what little is known about myeloma.

He and his wife, Carolyn, praised the work of Myeloma Australia, with Carolyn recalling how she was on the phone to the organisation within hours of the diagnosis. Neither of them had ever heard of myeloma before - something Roberts said is all too common among those diagnosed.

“We are speaking up to give other Myeloma patients like me hope,” Sandy said. “And I am asking you to give generously to Myeloma Australia.

“There are trials all around the world. I am asking for help to cure myeloma.”

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