Marie Finianos – The Untold Story Of A Very Special Football Club

It is one of the most worn out phrases in the game. You don’t read about the good things that players and club do, you only hear about the bad things. Today is not one of those days.

Let me share with you my story and maybe you’ll understand why Canterbury are not only my club, but my family.

In August 2008, at just the age of 25, my beautiful sister Josie was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. Unfortunately the challenge only grew a few weeks later when we were told it had spread through her blood stream and into her lungs. I was only 18 when Jos got diagnosed and was so naïve the entire time, adamant it would all be okay and she would be around forever.

Six years later on the 17th May 2014, I lost the best part of me. After multiple operations, an endless amount of chemotherapy sessions and many other procedures, our angel passed away. That beautiful smile was gone forever. That caring nature never to be felt again. That love and selflessness disappearing from our lives. My sister and best friend, gone forever.

I remember thinking I’ m not going to make it without her. I still do some days. But one of my greatest comforts is remembering how much my great club has done for my family and myself. I now know for certain that they are there through the most difficult times. Just like family.

The day after Jos was admitted into hospital, a family friend got in contact with the club hoping she could arrange something to bring some joy to our family. Within two hours we were shocked to find Josh Reynolds and Krisnan Inu’s smiling faces walking into Concord Hospital. Might I add it was Thursday and they were due to fly to New Zealand for a Sunday game.

Now I know what a footballers face looks like when they are just there to do their deed. To try make the club look good. What we experienced from Josh and Krisnan was nothing short of heart-warming and selfless. They spent at least an hour sitting with us, cracking jokes, making us laugh and listening to all our ‘crazy supporter’ stories. At this point Jos was sedated so in and out of sleep. They refused to leave until she woke up. They wanted to see her. Talk to her. Make her smile and comfort her in what she knew were her final days.

After about an hour Jos woke up. I will never forget her smile when she saw them. They both moved right near her talking to her although her responses were limited. They didn’t want to leave and apologised a number of times when they had to head back to Belmore to train. They encouraged us to take a photo of them with her. And we did. The last photo we ever took of our girl. She is probably looking down on me cursing me for sharing this photo with you all. I think she looks pretty damn incredible though!