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Toronto Argonauts head coach Don Matthews from 2008 (FRED THORNHILL/REUTERS)
Toronto Argonauts head coach Don Matthews from 2008 (FRED THORNHILL/REUTERS)

Former CFL coaching great Don Matthews battling cancer Add to ...

Former Toronto Argonauts' head coach Don Matthews won't be coming to the 100th Grey Cup game. He issued a statement Monday explaining why saying doctors have found cancer cells in his lymph nodes.

Matthews, who now currently lives in Beaverton, Ore., said in a release:

"Many of my friends in the CFL have contacted me over the past few months to participate in events around the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction and the 100 Grey Cup Festival.  Unfortunately, I will be unable to participate in any of these activities and I wanted to let Canadian Football League colleagues and fans know the reason why.

"My doctors have found cancer cells in my lymph nodes and are still trying to determine from where these cells originate.  It is early and I am still exploring my options and seeking medical advice.

"I’ve got this and I’m dealing with this.  But I want everyone to know I plan to fight like hell and I intend to be playing golf at this time next year. I wish everyone well as the 100 Grey Cup is celebrated and am sorry I will not be there with all of you as I focus, with my wife Stephanie, on my immediate battle off the field."

Matthews, 73, is a five-time CFL coach of the year winner and has the second-most wins as a CFL coach behind Wally Buono. He helped the Argonauts win back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 1996, 1997.

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