#85 – Riding the Storm With Geoff Thomas

Geoff Thomas is a former professional footballer having played for England and predominantly, Crystal Palace and Crewe Alexandra.

Lewis and Geoff talk about his experiences getting into football, the pressures of footballers now compared to when he started, a little on the recent Euros. What he believes it takes to be a good captain.

Geoff also shares his wisdom, but mainly his inspirational work now after he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia a year after his retirement. He talks about the emotional and physical journey going through the illness, the recovery and how he then took on the Tour De France the very next year.

This was one of the most inspiring and heartfelt stories we’ve had on the podcast.

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This episode at a glance

  • How the money and the media attention involved in sport has added a lot more pressure on current athletes to perform. [6:19]
  • The difference in the atmosphere of the changing rooms from Geoff’s time and now. [8:07]
  • How coaches help manage the modern day pressures and expectations for current athletes especially the newer, more inexperienced ones. [10:44]
  • Geoff football career- from being spotted by a scout at 18 to finally joining the Crystal Palace team. [11:56]
  • How players can stand out to get the best opportunity in hyper-competitive environments. [13:35]
  • Leading a group of athletes as a captain in a fast-paced, high-emotion sport like football. [18:19]
  • Focusing more on things you can control impacts the outcome you want in your life. [22:08]
  • Paying attention to your physical health allows you to be in a more positive mindset and have better mental health. [23:50]
  • Enjoying your success and not be too down when you’re having a bad time. [25:18]
  • Geoff reminisces highlights of his career, and describes what he did after retiring. [26:47]
  • Geoff’s experience with cancer, from thinking the worst to being very grateful for the doctors and treatments he received as he was battling leukaemia. [30:48]
  • How, Neil Ashton, encouraged Geoff to participate in the Tour De France as a way to say thank you and raise awareness for leukaemia. Plus the 3 weeks he had from deciding to join to actually participating in the race. [45:10]
  • Geoff’s story of the hardest parts of his first race, overcoming physical challenges, toughest moments and remembering all the people he met and who helped him along his cancer journey. [48:58]
  • Learnings from Geoff’s first Tour de France experience. [54:40]
  • The impact of his funds raised and his vision of a clinical network for leukaemia research. [56:19]
  • What’s next for the charity, Cure Leukaemia. [1:02:32]

Episode Sponsored By Sport Yogi

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