Bobby Williamson, ex-Hibs and Kilmarnock boss, reveals cancer fight

Bobby Williamson, the former manager of Hibs and Kilmarnock, has revealed he is battling cancer.
Bobby Williamson pictured in 2002 after taking the top job at Hibs. Picture: TSPL/Sean BellBobby Williamson pictured in 2002 after taking the top job at Hibs. Picture: TSPL/Sean Bell
Bobby Williamson pictured in 2002 after taking the top job at Hibs. Picture: TSPL/Sean Bell

The 56-year-old, who now lives in Kenya and has had spells managing the national team as well as club side Gor Mahia, was diagnosed in the summer, and has been receiving treatment in India.

But the former Rangers and Kilmarnock striker is hopeful of making a full recovery, and is targeting a return to management in the new year.

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He told the Scottish Sun: “In the summer I’d been bothered by what felt like a blockage at the back of my throat.

“It was causing me problems breathing, so I was keen to get it out. But the tests they did showed it was cancerous [cells in the nasal cavity].

“Michelle [Bobby’s partner] told me that in Kenya people who need lengthy hospital treatment go to India, so we made some enquiries and I came over to Delhi.

“The tumour has been removed, but I had to have chemotherapy once a week and 20 sessions of radiotherapy, which was pretty tough. It’s going to be a few months before they know for sure it hasn’t spread.”

Williamson, who has lost nearly two stone in weight as a result of the treatment, said he felt there was something wrong at the start of last year.

The Scot, who was binned as Kenya manager in February 2016, had been complaining of nosebleeds and feeling like he had a blocked nose.

“I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, but my liver, pancreas and kidneys were all okay,” he explained.

“By August it was unbearable, I felt as if I was totally blocked up all the time I had trouble breathing. They did a boiopsy and the results initially came back inconclusive.

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“But I was pushing for it to be removed because I knew there was something bothering me.”

As well as the cancer, Williamson told how he has suffered from chornic mouth ulcers and was diagnosed with diabetes, for which he was given 20 tablets a day.

He hasn’t worked since he was axed as the national team coach and avoided taking new jobs while a legal dispute over the manner of his departure rumbled on.

“The Kenyan FA broke the contract, so there’s a dispute which is being handled by lawyers. I like living in Kenya, so it’s not a road I want to go down. But they broke it,” Williamson added.

He is now hopeful of getting the all-clear on Christmas Eve, and is planning a short break in Dubai to recuperate before flying home to Kenya, where he is keen to get back to coaching.

Williamson’s former clubs sent messages of support, with Hibs tweeting: “Hibernian would like to wish Bobby Williamson well with his ongoing cancer treatment - we’re all hoping for a full recovery.”

Kilmarnock added: “Everyone at Kilmarnock FC sends their best wishes to our 1997 Scottish Cup winning manager Bobby Williamson as he undergoes cancer treatment.”

Rangers, one of the clubs Williamson played for prior to joining Kilmarnock, wrote on Twitter: “Everyone at Rangers sends their best wishes to former striker Bobby Williamson as he undergoes treatment for cancer.”