Daughter of former rugby great Ged Dunn supports Assisted Dying

Nichola Watson and her family watched her beloved father Ged suffer for months in agony, wishing only to die, as cancer spread from his prostate and swept through his bones.

She is now a strong supporter of MSP Liam McArthur’s Assisted Dying Bill, which is being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

Ged Dunn was a famous former England rugby league player who spent much of his time in Aberdeen with Nichola’s young family.

He had led a hugely active life as a professional sportsman, then a gym teacher and father, before relishing his role as the all-action grandfather.



Former Rugby League star Ged Dunn on Nichola’s wedding day

She told in tears how Ged would say goodbye to his immediate family in the final weeks, hoping and hoping that each tortured day would be his last, so much pain in his body.

By the time he died, he had endured cancer, a heart attack and then Covid.

He was paralyzed from the waist down and required a huge cocktail of painkillers to get through each day, leaving him mentally traumatized and desperate for an end to the pain.

Nichola said she was grateful that the family could be at Ged’s bedside at his home in Hull at the end.

She said: “My memories of my wonderful father, all the memories of the family, are distorted and tarnished, tainted by suffering and guilt.

“He didn’t want to be in such pain, he didn’t want to be in the world. Didn’t want to be in a hospice and didn’t want to see us suffer every day.

“There was so much guilt, from him to us and from us to him for not being able to help him.”

She added: “I would very much hope that this end-of-life law would be passed and that families would be spared what ours went through as I would see my father, who lived such an amazing life, day after day. suffer as he did.

“If he had been allowed to say his goodbyes and drift away, instead of saying that painful, just in case, goodbye every night, it would have been more humane.

“Instead, he would go to sleep, hoping that the day would be his last, then open his eyes in the morning and realize he was still there and had to go through hell again. I find I always come back to that and it upsets me so much.”



Ged spent many happy times in Scotland hiking the hills and visiting historic sites

Two years ago, Ged was diagnosed with prostate cancer and died in August last year, on Nichola’s birthday, at the age of 74.

He enjoyed many trips to explore Scotland, including repeated visits to a favorite log cabin on the shore of Loch Insch, Aviemore.

The family also went hiking and Ged was nicknamed “the slot machine” by grandchildren Ruby and Stanley because he had so much energy.

Ged won caps for England while with Hull Kingston Rovers and played in the 1975 Rugby League World Cup.

Ged has been described as the backbone of Hull KR during the club’s heyday. He scored 160 tries in 296 appearances for the Robins, putting him in the top five of the club’s all-time list.

He also broke the club’s record for tries in a season, scoring 42 in 45 games in 1974-75, earning him a place in England’s squad for the World Cup.



Ged in action in his heyday with Hull Kingston Rovers

After his death, alumni paid tribute to the legend, remembering him as an “unforgettable teacher” at Winnifred Holtby High School and Bransholme High School for 33 years before retiring in 2005.

Lib Dem councilor Jan Loft said at the time of his passing: “He was fondly referred to as the legend in shorts by many of the kids who went there, he was a top guy. He helped shape children’s lives. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.”

MSP Liam McArthur’s Assisted Dying Bill, currently under consideration by the Scottish Parliament, applies strictly to adults who are both terminally and mentally competent, with two doctors having to sign the criteria.

The applicant would have to sign a written statement, followed by a “period of reflection”.

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