Cricket fans rally around Tim May after sad revelation during first West Indies Test

The Aussie cricket great played 24 Tests and 47 one-day internationals for his country.

Tim May, pictured here alongside Shane Warne.
Tim May played alongside some Australian cricket legends like Shane Warne. Image: Getty

Aussie cricket great Tim May has fought back tears while opening up about his battle with prostate cancer. The off-spinner, who played 24 Tests and 47 one-day internationals for Australia, became highly emotional while sending an important message in an interview with Channel 7 on Thursday.

Speaking to Damien Fleming and Peter Lalor during the first Test between Australia and the West Indies, May revealed he was diagnosed 12 months ago and has undergone chemotherapy, radiation and testosterone blockers. “I’m sort of like a woman going through menopause at the moment. I get very teary at times, for no apparent reason,” he said.

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But May said he's “going pretty good” and was encouraged by positive test results last week. “All the side effects - and I’ve ticked most of the side effects, don’t worry about that - they pass," he said. "And you know they pass. You are just happy. I haven’t spent one moment worrying about it. I just got my scans a week ago and, they’ve all gone. Multiple sites have all gone. So now I’ve got another 12 month of chemo to keep it at bay.

“You never really say you’re cured of cancer, so the battle will continue. They give you a deal of, hey, I’ll give you two years of crap and, I’ll deal with you two years of crap with 30 years of gold. It’s good bargain isn’t it? No complaint about the side effects. I was just stupid I didn’t pick it up earlier.”

May said his battle should be a wake-up call to others in a similar situation and encouraged people to get tested no matter how scared they are of the results. "I was stupid I didn't pick it up earlier," he said.

"I was a coward. I skipped a blood test because I was scared of the outcome. I was a fool. An absolute fool...and I don't want anyone else to be a fool, or be scared because the sooner you get the test done, you can nip it in the bud."

Tim May and Shane Warne in 1995.
Tim May and Shane Warne during a Test match in 1995. (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images) (Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Cricket fans send messages of support to Tim May

May became very emotional and embraced Fleming in a warm hug after the interview had wrapped up. He also revealed in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that he had a stint in rehab, but hasn't touched a drop of alcohol in four years.

"I don't want any sympathy," he said. "I am four years sober now ... it [alcoholism] is a disease of the brain and people don't understand. They don't understand why you can't stop. I've never been happier. It is light and day between my artificial happiness while on the drink."

May took 75 Test wickets throughout his career at an average of 34.74. He was also a member of the 1987 side who won the Cricket World Cup, and went on to serve as the CEO of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations after his retirement.

Fans took to social media to wish him well and praise his courage to speak about his situation on Thursday. South Australian MP Tim Richardson wrote: "Well done Tim May and thank you for sharing your lived experience and journey with prostate cancer. Powerful message to get a simple blood test that could save your life."

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