Tate On “The Hardest Month Of My Life”

Friday, 27 August 2010, 7:54
2 mins read

The word legend is destined to be used for the Swansea City vice captain although many would argue that the word is already appropriate given his love for the club and the city which has grown since he first arrived back in 2002.

But Tate's early season performances have been against the backdrop of family worries with health problems hitting both his father and his grandmother.

"It's definitely been the hardest month of my life," Tate told the Evening Post.

"I'm sure there are people out there who are worse off than me, and you just have to get on with things and try to do your best when you are playing.

"But off the field, when I am away from football, it has been difficult.

"I found out last week that my nana has incurable lung and stomach cancer. I can't remember exactly when I heard because the last few days have all been a bit of a blur.

"At the beginning of the month my dad had his second operation on his bowel cancer, and my other grandmother is having problems with old age as well.

"What's going on is in my head all the time.

"My dad travels all over the place, but he has not been to a game this season because of how he is feeling," Tate adds.

"He has just had another operation and it is his mum who is having to live day by day, so he is a bit up in the air.

"One of the things that makes me happy is that my nana has been down to Swansea to see me play.

"Hopefully she will get the chance to come again but, if not, at least she has seen me at the place where I'm probably the happiest I've ever been."

With the international break to come after Burnley, Tate is planning an imminent trip to County Durham.

He was last back on home turf after Swansea lost at Hull City on the opening day of the new season.

"My dad had the operation just before that and I went up to see him after the game," Tate explains.

"On the Sunday before I came back to Swansea, I took my nana to the hospital for some tests and didn't think anything of it.

"But they took her and my mam and dad into a room last week and told them the news.

"I'm going to try to get home as quickly as possible to see her.

"We are only a small family and I am close to her.

"My mam's only got one brother and my dad hasn't got any, so there are not that many of us."

Tate has shared his worries with his team mates and his manager, adding "He was good as gold about that, but he has got enough things to worry about without me telling him everything else

"I am old enough and hopefully strong enough to look after myself.

"It's good to have people with you because it's when you're left on your own that you start to get down," he goes on.

"Being with the baby as much as possible is good.

"When you are on the pitch you don't really think about anything else," Tate stresses.

"Maybe subconsciously there is something, but I am just getting on with things as best as I can.

"I am fairly happy with the way I have started the season, apart from the first half at Norwich.

"Like I said, everyone has their own problems and, while they all seem to have come at once for me, I just have to get on with it."

And for all football's irrelevance given what else is going on in Tate's life, a few good results will be most welcome.

"You always want to win games anyway, but the chance to send some good news back home is another reason to do well"

 

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