Essendon have announced beloved club doctor Bruce Reid has been diagnosed with cancer.
Reid is on indefinite leave after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells of internal organs.
He has currently recovering in hospital after surgery.
“Reidy’s health and wellbeing are our number one priority during this difficult time,” Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said in a statement.
“He knows he has the full support of the entire Essendon family and the club will continue to do everything we can to support Bruce, his wife Judy and their five children.”
Reid is the longest-serving senior AFL doctor and has been at Essendon for the past 36 years.
He previously worked at Richmond from 1976 – 1979, before moving to Essendon in 1982.
He also played two years at Hawthorn in 1966 and 1967, playing three senior games.
Our hearts are with Dr Bruce Reid and his family.
We're with you all the way, Reidy.
— Essendon FC (@EssendonFC) December 21, 2018
Fans flocked to social media with messages of support.
We love you Bruce. Thoughts with you and family💕
— Scooter (@ScooterMcNeice) December 21, 2018
Thoughts and prayers are with you Doc Reid.
— k r i s t y y (@x_Kristyy) December 21, 2018
Horrible news… such a wonderful gentleman… thoughts are with you and your family Doc 😢
— ❤️ Dons 🖤 (@DonsBaldock) December 21, 2018
Thinking of you Doc Reid! ❤️
— Mel (@Mel_Johnson_01) December 21, 2018
You’ve got an army of people right behind u Brucey!! Sending all the strength u need to get through this 👊
— Matt Rozvaczy (@rozzy2412) December 21, 2018
An incredible man, who is part of the fabric of the Essendon Football Club. 36 years of loyal, dedicated service to the Red & Black. Get well Bruce 🔴⚫️
— Jimmy. (@ImJimmyMcCallum) December 21, 2018