Former Canadian Football League coach Don Matthews announced Monday that he would not be participating in any 100th Grey Cup festivities because doctors have found cancer cells in his lymph nodes.
The Toronto Argonauts, whom Matthews won Grey Cups with in 1996 and 1997, released a statement on behalf of the 73-year-old Hall of Famer.
“Many of my friends in the CFL have contacted me over the past few months to participate in events around the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction and the 100th Grey Cup Festival. Unfortunately, I will be unable to participate in any of these activities and I wanted to let Canadian Football League colleagues and fans know the reason why.
“My doctors have found cancer cells in my lymph nodes and are still trying to determine from where these cells originate. It is early and I am still exploring my options and seeking medical advice.
“I’ve got this and I’m dealing with this. But I want everyone to know I plan to fight like hell and I intend to be playing golf at this time next year.
“I wish everyone well as the 100th Grey Cup is celebrated and am sorry I will not be there with all of you as I focus, with my wife Stephanie, on my immediate battle off the field.”
Throughout his near 30-year coaching career, Matthews served as head coach for the B.C. Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Baltimore Stallions, Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton Eskimos, and Montreal Alouettes, winning a total of five Grey Cups.
Matthews holds the all-time CFL record for most regular season wins as a head coach with 231 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in February 2011.