Soccer ball. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Soccer ball. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong

Gympie coach goes from Man United player to tumor survivor

Football: Gympie United Gladiators coach Kyle Nix is aiming to play football again since having "life saving heart surgery".

Playing football professionally in Thailand about two years ago, Nix said he had pains in his calf and in "24 hours everything changed".

"I went to get scans because of the pain and the next thing I knew, I was getting scans on my upper body," he said.

"I got the results from the scan and there was a tumour on my heart. I was rushed to hospital and I needed to have surgery. My brothers were living in Australia at the time and they flew to England. It was pretty surreal, really."

Nix said after the surgery, things were put in perspective.

 

Football Gympie United - Kyle Nix Coach
Football Gympie United - Kyle Nix Coach LEEROY TODD

"I remained in hospital for a few days and there were 70-year-olds asking why I was in here," he said.

"It hit home. I was 29, having open heart surgery to save my life. This is not what I should be doing."

Being told he might never play football again, Nix has rekindled his love for the game since moving to the Sunshine Coast.

"It has been a rocky couple of years but my passion has been put into coaching. I sometimes think if I wasn't coaching what would I be doing? he said.

"There are not as many reminders (of the surgery) in Queensland and being with my brothers has made the move easier. It wouldn't have been the same on my own."

Nix said he was focused on being a better coach at the Gladiators.

"People say the best players and coaches never stop learning. This is something I am implementing," he said.

"I want to give back to the game and help the next generation of players."

Gympie Times


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