My name is George Worboys and this is my Deeper Why.
When I was 13-years-old, my brother, Toti, passed away. He was 11. We were best mates and spent so much time together that we annoyed each other so much! We would always be outside playing together in the garden and we were very competitive when it came to sport.
He had a bone condition which meant every time we were too physical with each other, he would break a bone – I stood on his foot one time, it broke his foot. I karate kicked him, that broke his foot. I also fell on him, that broke his femur.
One day Toti was really unwell, and it was a few weeks after he had come out of hospital because of his femur. He went back to hospital and to be honest, we didn’t think too much of it and thought he would be fine. The next day, my gran was looking after us and told me and my other siblings that we weren’t going to school and I was obviously really happy to have the day off! But then I came downstairs and my parents came in and told us what had happened. In the space of 12 hours our world had crumbled. It was a big shock as we didn’t see anything like that coming.
It understandably rocked the family but I’m really proud of how we dealt with it together; everyone has been so supportive of each other. We’ve got so much tighter as a group, play family games together and spend as much time together as we can.
I always try and remind my brothers and sisters to make the most of the time you have together.
With that, together as family – led by my dad - we have raised money for charity for Children with Leukaemia which is what Toti died from. £306,000 has been raised via loads of charity events such as the Bath Half and golf days. We just want to help people in similar situations.
We’ve been fortunate enough to go and see what the money has gone towards research wise. We went up to Manchester as a family and sat down with PhD students as approximately £100,000 went towards a PhD study and towards learning about cancer and how to prevent people from getting it. It was really interesting; you saw first-hand that simple things such as changing the colour of a screen to scan cells takes months. The detail is amazing to see what they’re doing and it’s amazing to see everything my family, friends and everyone has done to help them to progress that research forward.
Ever since it happened we have all tried to make the best out of every situation and we have all found our own way of coping.
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As a 13-year-old, I didn’t like counselling or going to groups, it wasn’t for me. There were a couple of people I was able to talk to, but sport was a way I could let myself go and go out, be myself and not have to worry about anything and not be upset. Sport was my escape. It wasn’t just rugby but football, tennis and cricket as well as touch rugby which was a big thing for me when there was no rugby over the summer. I had to do things to get better, do things to find myself busy as I could have just sat at home doing nothing drowning my sorrows so to speak.
That’s why rugby became my main focus and for me, that’s why my why has a personal sense and a wider sense.
First of all, I just love rugby. That is my sport, it’s my thing I love to do and there’s nothing else I want to do. My whole life I’ve always had this idea in my head that I was going to be a rugby player no matter what people said. I lived up in Warwickshire and I said to some of my mates at school ‘I’m going to play for Bath one day’ and they said they there was no chance of me doing that. I moved schools to come down to Bath and they quickly changed their opinion! My grandparents supported Bath and Bath has been my whole heart my whole life and it’s just been a dream and something I’ve wanted to do. That’s been my why because I’ve told myself I’m going to do it.
Then from a family sense and a personal side, my brother always wanted to play rugby but was never able to because of his bone condition. It’s about doing him proud.
Not many people know but we scattered his ashes on the Rec with Matt Banahan – who was his favourite player – under the boxes, under the posts and we did it in a letter T which is why I always do a T as my celebration.
It was special to be able to celebrate by doing the T for my first senior Bath try against Gloucester. I knew where all my family were, I found them before the game. I looked straight over to them and they are quite a loud family! You will hear my dad at every game he goes to! I had a mate there as well and they were shouting and screaming. In that individual moment, I was really happy and it was a big thing to celebrate for Toti.
I want to do him proud and my family too because they always support me. They are my motivation.