sport news How Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary secretly nearly DIED this year trends now

sport news How Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary secretly nearly DIED this year trends now
sport news How Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary secretly nearly DIED this year trends now

sport news How Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary secretly nearly DIED this year trends now

Beloved Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has revealed how a secret illness left him fighting for life in intensive care mid-season.

The two-time premiership coach was hospitalised after a serious knee infection saw him develop worrying blood clots on his lungs earlier this year.  

Cleary's family were forced to put on a united front as the 51-year-old watched games from his living room after taking a step back from active coaching duty.

His wife Bec said she had realised her husband was sick when he took rare time off work to recover, adding he barely moved from the couch for several weeks. 

Ivan Cleary, two-time premiership coach, was hospitalised after a serious knee infection saw him develop worrying blood clots on his lungs earlier this year

Ivan Cleary, two-time premiership coach, was hospitalised after a serious knee infection saw him develop worrying blood clots on his lungs earlier this year

His devoted wife Bec had realised her husband was sick when he took rare time off work, adding he had barely moved from the couch for several weeks

His devoted wife Bec had realised her husband was sick when he took rare time off work, adding he had barely moved from the couch for several weeks

'He was struggling this year. He could hardly walk. He was very sick. Then he got the blood clots. That was pretty scary,' she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'If they hadn't got that when they did, who knows what would have happened? They got it at a good time, and they looked after him.'

It was the first time Cleary had missed a game in 16 years of coaching. He missed the first game of the season and another in Brisbane after he was banned from flying.

'It's a strange experience watching your team play live on the couch. It's totally different to normal,' the coach said.

'When I got the blood clots, it was a bit of a scare, but I was in good hands. I had the best nurse in Australia [Bec] looking after me, so I was ok.'

In June, it was reported the Panthers coach was admitted to ICU to receive treatment for blood clots and was absent from several games following 'medical advice'.

Cleary was spotted taking training on crutches last month and missed two games in June

Cleary was spotted taking training on crutches last month and missed two games in June

Cleary's son Nathan, the Panther's star halfback, said it had been 'special' to celebrate with his father who has taken the team to three straight finals (pictured, the pair celebrate the win)

Cleary's son Nathan, the Panther's star halfback, said it had been 'special' to celebrate with his father who has taken the team to three straight finals (pictured, the pair celebrate the win)

'Cleary has been dealing with an ongoing knee infection, and underwent a second surgery on his knee this week,' the club said in a statement at the time.

'Following medical advice and with the long-term prognosis compromised, the head coach feels that by being in Brisbane wouldn’t add value to the team under the current circumstances.'

Cleary walked with a slight limp as he attended the NRL Grand Final 2022, where the Panthers triumphed against the Parramatta Eels, winning 28-12. 

The win marks Penrith's second consecutive premiership with assistant coaches Cameron Ciraldo and Andrew Webster

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