There's no good way to say this although I'm sure others could say it so much better.
Neil's prognosis is not good (a fact he does not mind my posting)
But I think all QPR Fans send you our very best wishes and our hopes that somehow, things will improve.
Every now and then a miracle does occur and Doctors' Prognoses are proven wrong. Or somehow a medical miracle
But if it proves not to be, then all we can do is send our best wishes and our thanks for posting and remembering. And if we watching and talking about QPR today and yesterday proves a welcome distraction: Well I think that's true for many of us.
And the history of QPR is the generations of fans who have watched the generations of players... (which is what makes having fathers and sons or brothers play for the same club that extra special: The Francises and the Allens) And the posts Neil has made on this site, have contributed so much to getting to the essence of what QPR messageboards are at their best.
Anyway, while it's obviously a little awkward, I would encourage others to post on this thread. And maybe I could say later.
Fellow Mods, I may be out of line, but I have stickied this.
For me "Robbo" has been an awesome poster on here and other sites. He's a fund of knowledge and experience from within the club. His views have been up front, honest and interesting. I personally look forward to reading each of his posts as I learn something new each time.
When I first heard of his illness, I was gutted, it's something that has become something quite personal through family illnesses of the same ilk.
I hope in typing this Neil, I do not embarrass you nor your family. This is partly my way of dealing with your situation, But what I am typing at this hour comes from the heart and is exactly how I feel at this moment in time. I'm supporting you spiritually and emotionally and hope that the "Miracle" does arrive. I'd gladly give up anything if it meant that you would be continuing to share with us for the next 20 years all your knowledge. I dont say this lightly as it is a big statement to make. But it is sincere, genuine and definately meant.
Very few people in this world mean much to me as such, but your warm friendship has been a positive injection into my own life. I hope I can honour you by being a better person to others - friends or foes in my life.
I appreciated the singing phone call the other week. I hope you enjoy my texts back and I'll be calling you real soon.
This season QPR have played way above what anyone has been expecting or even hoping for. During this illness and the treatment, I hope this form has given you some comfort. I hope your posting on the various MB's has given as much pleasure to their respective members and that their responses have given you some in return.
That's it for the moment. I will add stuff as I think of things to say. Sorry fellow users if this sounds mushy. I'm not really an emotional type but Neil's friendship really means this much to me personally.
I can't speak with great experience of Neil as others can. I have respected his posts on various sites. I have however had the pleasure of meeting him once a couple of months ago before a match.
It was a genuine pleasure but what came across was that this is someone who not only loves the club, but also loves and respects other fans. During our conversation he mentioned his situation, but it was said in such a calm and matter of fact way that, it took a few seconds to register with me what was actually said. It wasn't said in a way that was looking for sympathy. It was said as part of the conversation we were having. Before I could respond to that, the discussion had moved on to other things.
As I left and walked to the match, I was thinking about what I was told, but rather than think about how terrible the news I was just told. My thinking was taken up with how calm Neil was when he told me and the great strength he was showing.
Neil, it was good to meet you and would be great if we can meet up again at the last game of the season against Leeds when hopefully, we'll be celebrating promotion. I might even buy you a drink next time
neil roberts your gentleness and love,and i will allways remember all the lovely times we had over the years if this goes belly up ill be there at the end,and i will shed buckets of tears please god in heaven hear my prayers my man just ain't ready for the holy stairs i can still remember him wearing tank tops and flairs love you neil,love you for ever im going to say a special prayer for you and trevor
i drove down to see neil i hadn't seen him in 30 years,and he just ain't changed we went to a pub,he's such a wonderfull man,im going to say so many prayers for him and can i ask all you posters to do the same
Text didn't get here, but still good to hear from you as ever mate.
Had a lovely surprise visit at my home yesterday from Weavie; spent ages talking about the R's and the old days, and both feeling positive for rest of season.
Whilst on here, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every poster for their continued support for myself and my family, and the kind messages I am receiving daily are helping us to cope.
I think hundred times as many posters would add to this thread, but feel just a little awkward doing so.
And in honesty, I think all who have posted are not exactly sure of what to say or how to say it.
But have no doubt that all the readers of this board. And all the readers on the various other QPR boards, truly are all thinking for you and fighting for you, and praying for you.
And besides wishing they could do something to help, they all take something from how you handle this
And a sense of QPR continuity which was there before us, and G-d willing will be there long after any of us. Just as QPR was here when our fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers were kids (even if in many instances, they weren't educated enough to support QPR) so QPR will hopefully be around when our grandchildren are old men
Whether what I said is quite the right thing, I'm very much not sure. Which is how I came into this thread.
I'm not even a Catholic, but there's a church at the end of our street, tonight Robbo, just for you as it's Christmas Eve, I'm making a guest appearance. Who knows, God might hear me and give you a reprieve. Oh and I'll be sure to give him a MB sticker on one of the windows!!
Last Edit: Dec 23, 2010 20:57:54 GMT by Lonegunmen
Hi Robbo, I've been away for a while so I haven't been posting. My thoughts are with you, keep up the fighting spirit you showed when we had a beer earlier this season. Fancy meeting up to hopefully celebrate our promotion at the Leeds game (I'll also be over for a few games before). Hope you are having a good festive break with family and friends, Cheers, Froggyranger
I'm cycling in aid of Help for Heroes 440km over 7 of the Cols regularly seen on the Tour de France. If interested please visit www.bmycharity.com/gbgriffiths for more info. Onwards and Upwards!
I am so sorry to hear about Neil - I live in Norwich and have been a season ticket holder up here for years. Neil and I used to work together when I was based in Greenford and later on I moved to Kent and requested he came to work with me there. I have never met such a genuine nice guy then Neil. We often talked about the time Norwich ruined QPR'S title chance!!!!!!!! (all in good taste, I might add) I knoe Neil lives and breath's QPR, please dear god let this continue for many years to come. Neil I am praying for you, I had no idea mate you are ill and would be greatfull if anyone can keep me updated.
I still go to every Norwich game and lets hope we both go up this year - I would love to catch up with you again.
For those of you who have never met Neil - I used to call him Tommy, as he is Tommy Coopers double ( I am sure he will not mind me saying this)
Neil - luvs you still lol - my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org - please please can someone pass my message onto Robbo and let me know how he is.
You know Neil I think I did meet you. I was very active in the 90s coming over from chicago and would go to the away games in the buses with Daphne and another lady that took me on a grand tour of grounds and dressing rooms. Cant remember her name. We watched movies and had quizzes.
Great atmosphere then. Let me know if you rwmwmber anything. Cheers Harry.
I seem to remember you too; did you have a moustache at that point?
I certainly remember Daphne introducing a supporter to me that was over from Chicago, and I remember updating your supporters club membership, about the time Iintroduced the early version of the club newsletter "ALWAYS THERE".
This was posted on WATRB by Joe Hylton I doubt they'd mind if I reposted here
NEIL ROBERTS part 2 ... please read! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Saturday afternoon whilst Rangers played Blackburn in the FA Cup, I took the opportunity with my wife Kathy, to pay a visit to our mate Neil and his wife Becky at their home - Herne Bay is not a place that I've stopped at before, I've passed it on the way to Margate, and never given it a second glance - Neil's house was easy to spot .... the car in the drive gave it away with a QPR mini-kit hanging in the rear window!
Becky came to the door and welcomed us in. She told us that Neil was having a sleep upstairs, as the medication he was on made him feel very tired.
We went through to the living-room, and there on the floor was their little 14 month old boy, Charlie! Charlie crawled towards me and held up a small train engine, so I got down next to him, moments later we were building a type of 'frog-mountain' thingy effort .... don't ask!
Now I'm not sure, maybe it was me, but Charlie was chatting away to me like we were long lost brothers. I can only think that he must have been on the Vodka that afternoon, as I couldn't understand one word of what he was saying! What I did know .... I'd fallen in love, in an instant, with this cheeky toddler who'd taken to me and Kath.
A good 10 minutes passed by when Neil walked in .... we hugged each other. I said to him ... "You've got your Barnet back mate". Neil said that his hair comes and goes, and told us that it would most probably be gone again next week after another session of his kemo treatment.
I don't know what word or words I can use, to describe Neil and his attitude to what's happening inside him .... possibly the word 'remarkable' is right and fitting! Going back a couple of weeks, to a phone conversation that we shared. Neil said of his condition ... "I treat it like a chel5hit fan who's moved in nextdoor, if I ignore the ba5tard, hopefully it'll move away". which made me laugh.
Anyway, we all discussed the days offerings at Blackburn, and agreed that a draw was the one result none of us wanted. It was during this chat that Becky had to administer an injection to Neil's stomach - He kept on apologising to me and Kath for his treatment. He told us that he'd spent the whole of Wednesday night through till the morning in hospital, having a 'stent' fitted to the entrance of his stomach. He told us that the 'stent' would open the way into his stomach so food could pass through, as the passage was shrunken due to his condition. You know, during all the time we talked, Neil never complained, actually he was smiling most of the time, only once did Neil screw his face up in agony. He doubled up saying the pain was like a really bad acid heartburn .... and then after only a few seconds, he smiled and again he apologised to us. He also explained that due to the morphine he'd drift away from time to time. He told us he wasn't blanking us out, it was because the relief from pain was so good he'd want to sleep.
Me and Kath spent over an hour with Neil, Becky and Charlie .... We laughed and joked over QPR days gone bye. Neil told us that he'd met Becky in a local pub ... she was a Kent girl by birth! Don't worry Joe ... and he laughed! I checked her DNA out before we got together, just to make sure there was no Millwall or Gillingham in her!
Neil told me to go upstairs and look in Charlies bedroom .... Over his cot was a framed hand painted picture of Loftus Road. Neil said to us ... That's the first thing he see's when he wakes up .... gotta bring 'em up right hey Joe! As we left Neil's home he showed us the amount of pills he has to take that were stacked up in his kitchen, just to get him through each day.
As I said, I believe Neil is a remarkable man, he never complained once about his condition. He's lost a lot of weight, but he's still the same person I've known spanning over four decades .... His love for QPR is as passionate and as strong as it ever was when we first met as young lads way back in the early 1970's! Have to say, both myself and Kathy felt quite numb as we drove away from Neil and Becky, in fact we hardly spoke for the first part of our journey home.... I just don't have that inner strength that Neil has.
Neil Roberts turned 53 years of age just before Christmas - He's a Shepherds Bush boy by birth, born just off the Askew Road. He's got two beautiful daughters aged 20 and 23, from his previous marriage, all of them are a very close family. Neil's Mum and Step Father live in the Bush! I've spoken with Neil's dad Jack, who lives in Spain, he has a very soft Scottish accent. Jack told me that he was the one who was responsible for taking Neil to Loftus Road when he was 6 years of age. Sadly Jack told me he can't make the Coventry game. - It was about the time of Neil's birthday that I went to Loftus Road and met up with Dave Robinson who works in the QPR community scheme and also runs the QPR matchday hospitality - Honestly my friends, Dave couldn't have been more helpful when I told him of Neil's plight.
On Sunday the 23rd of January, when The R's host Coventry City in the live game on Sky that kicks off at 1.15pm - Dave Robinson and his team, are going to do the full hospitality package for Neil. They have a few surprises in store for him, that I really don't want to mention on here!
After the game, Neil has asked me, to ask all of you, to come down to The LSA in The Springbok, at about 3.30pm for a drink and a chat!
He'd like to see as many of his old mates, or any Rangers fan who's got a few moments to spare him!
Time, you understand, is not on Neil's side .... It's the reason why we've all chosen the Coventry game, with Neil's blessing, on the 23rd January - Thank you my friends, please pass the word on about Neil Roberts our 'Brother in Hoops' and his belated birthday party in The Springbok! U R'ssss!!Joe Hylton.