He battled and beat the disease three times over the next five years despite being warned to expected the worst.George, who has been married to wife Daphne for 53 years, recalls: “My world was turned upside down. “One day I felt invincible and the next the doctors put me in a side room at the Royal Marsden for people who weren’t going to make it, and started talking about getting my affairs in order.His mother was killed when she was run over by a juggernaut in 1971.Five years later George was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 36 after he was struck down by crippling fatigue while out running near his home in Tunbridge Wells.“Daphne told the doctors: ‘We’re not getting his affairs in order, because he’s not going anywhere’.” A series of ops during his first two cancer battles removed so much of George’s bowel he needed a colostomy bag.Ex-Fulham legend George says: “I feel sorry for Ben. And the advice might also have touched upon his new romance with his Strictly partner Kristina Rihanoff , with whom he’s just had a baby daughter last two weeks ago.George met Kristina, 38, at his old club Fulham earlier this year when Ben brought her to a match, but had little chance to talk amid crowds of flocking fans.Had it not been for his father’s advice, George Cohen might have been a boxer rather than a footballer. George is widely regarded as England’s best-ever right back and was one of those legendary lions including Bobby Moore , Geoff Hurst and the Charlton brothers who won the 1966 World Cup.
Peter died aged 58 after being attacked by thugs while trying to break up a fight outside a Northampton nightclub in 2000.
George’s nephew Ben, now 37, was just 22 at the time. I think he would have put Ben right on a few things.” Those things no doubt might have included Ben’s highly publicised split with Abby, 37, his wife of 13 years and mother of his two children.
He says: “I was surprised when Ben signed up for Strictly because I didn’t think he would have the agility. And the fact he’s a good looking boy didn’t hurt in those outfits.
“Unfortunately his marriage didn’t go any further and what’s happened recently hasn’t gone down too well with the public.
“He’s a mature guy and doesn’t have to answer to any of us.
But there are times when you want to talk to your father about things.” Football is famous for meaningless clichés but when George likens his own life to a “rollercoaster”, it is true.