- Port Adelaide play knockout final against Giants
- Returning star Charlie Dixon favored
- It comes after the star struggled during his wife’s cancer battle
Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson was ruled out of his club’s knockout final against GWS this weekend, just hours after admitting on national television that his wife’s cancer battle was “making devastation.”
Kellie Finlayson was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2021 – usually terminal – just three months after giving birth to the couple’s first child, Sophia, and has been undergoing constant chemotherapy treatments ever since.
The family were rocked by false reports that she was “cured of cancer” in June this year, leading to a flood of traumatic messages praising them as the fight for her life continued.
Now the family has suffered another cruel blow, with Port Adelaide dropping Finlayson from their side to face GWS in their AFL playoff final to make way for spearhead Charlie Dixon.
Finlayson, along with Kellie and their daughter Sophie, is battling his wife’s cancer.
Although Kellie has terminal stage four cancer, it has stopped spreading and there is reason for hope for the young family.
The official squad was announced on Wednesday, with Finlayson’s name not appearing on the team sheet, just hours after they appeared on Seven’s The Morning Show.
“It’s been a bumpy road, it’s been a long 18 months,” Finlayson said.
“It took its toll, I’m not going to lie about that. Lately, in the last three or four weeks, it has taken its toll and it shows in football.
“I tried to be brave through everything, watching how strong Kellie is and just trying to be her rock and just trying to make her smile on the football field for her and Soph and trying to provide for them while she goes through such a difficult battle. It’s all I can do.
Finlayson left the Giants for Port Adelaide in 2022 and had his best season this year, kicking 38 goals – second only to his brilliant 2019 when he kicked 44 for GWS.
However, his form dropped sharply over the last six games, which coincided with Port’s late season struggles.
Finlayson, pictured right, played in the club’s qualifying final against the Brisbane Lions but was dropped for the knockout clash against GWS.
Kellie sounded optimistic Wednesday, saying they’re “not out of the woods yet” but the cancer has stopped spreading.
“Obviously with a terminal diagnosis, it’s not common for things to turn out as well as they did for me,” Kellie said.
“The chemotherapy and all the alternative therapies that I’ve had and put myself through have worked, which is obviously fantastic, but we’re not out of the woods, and I have to be realistic with the fact that I’m still J I have cancer and even though things aren’t spreading and things are getting better, I’m still experiencing the emotions of what’s to come.
St Kilda great Leigh Montagna said Finlayson’s form had dropped and a tough decision had to be made.
“He hasn’t played well for six to eight weeks,” he said.
“He was not in good shape and they had to make a choice.”