Don Matthews battling cancer

Don Matthews is facing a tougher fight than any he faced in a legendary 22-year career as a head...

Don Matthews is facing a tougher fight than any he faced in a legendary 22-year career as a head coach with B.C., Baltimore, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Montreal and Toronto. (QMI Agency files)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

TORONTO - The Argonauts were hoping former head coach Don Matthews could participate in the league’s 100th Grey Cup celebrations later this month in Toronto.

Matthews was instrumental in twice winning Grey Cups in Toronto. But, now 73, Matthews is facing a tougher fight than any he faced in a legendary 22-year career as a head coach with B.C., Baltimore, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Montreal and Toronto.

In an annoucement made through the Argonauts, Matthews revealed Monday that doctors have found cancer cells in his lymph nodes.

“(Doctors) are still trying to determine from where these cells originate,” Matthews said in a release. “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.”

Matthews had three stints as coach of the Argonauts, winning Grey Cups in 1996 and 1997. He returned in 2008 after Rich Stubler was fired but retired again after the team finished the season 0-8 under his direction. He had a career 47-23 regular-season record in Toronto.

“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 ... and I wanted to let Canadian Football League colleagues and fans know the reason,” Matthews said.


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