‘Golf club membership keeps me going’ says 82-year-old cancer battling widower

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 18, 2015 15:19

An amazing 82-year-old man whose wife recently died, and was himself diagnosed with cancer, has said he is being kept healthy by his golf club membership.

Joe Canetti

Joe Canetti

The comments from Joe Canetti, who also cycles regularly, are testimony to the enormous physical and mental benefits that golf club membership can bring – both through the walking exercise that many elderly people can participate in and the social gains that can be made from companionship at a club level.

Joe re-joined Beauchief Golf Course in Sheffield in January this year, after initially leaving five years ago to look after his wife, Pauline, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Pauline passed away in 2012, a day before her 75th birthday and two days after her funeral, Joe was diagnosed with bladder cancer and underwent life-saving surgery and regular chemotherapy.

To re-invigorate himself, Joe took up golf once more and also started cycling.

“I’d been in such a dark place after losing Pauline and being diagnosed with cancer. When I started playing golf at Beauchief again, it felt like I was coming home. It’s a lovely set up, full of lovely people and I always feel welcome there,” said Joe.

Joe, who has two daughters Sarah and Susan, started playing golf at the age of 40 after leaving his job at Franklin’s dry cleaners in 1973, aged 40, to become a postman.

Joe said: “When I changed jobs, it gave me more time for life outside work and that’s when I first developed my love of golf. But when Pauline became ill, I stopped playing to care for her.”

After taking a break from the game following the passing of his wife and surgery for bladder cancer, Joe is now back on the course.

“Golf is keeping me mentally and physically healthy. I play twice a week with friends I’ve known for years. It is good exercise and a nice social activity.”

Since re-joining Beauchief, Joe has taken part in golf competitions such as the Seniors Cup – in which he competed in early March.

He also cycles almost every week with his friend, Mick.

“Mick used to be a milkman and the funny thing was he delivered my milk and I delivered his post! We got to know each other and joined the cycling club together,” said Joe.

“It’s a fair distance we cycle but we try to avoid the bigger hills as we don’t want to overdo it. Due to the cycling and the golf I feel very fit now, particularly for someone my age,” said Joe.

Beauchief’s manager, Andy Carnall, said: “People like Joe put the rest of us to shame. It’s truly remarkable the way that he’s managed to re-energise himself and I’m glad that he’s done that through golf. We’re proud to have played a part in helping him back on track.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 18, 2015 15:19
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1 Comment

  1. Darren Murdoch May 21, 19:11

    I take my head cover off to you sir! Very well done and you are an outstanding example to one and all. I hope the game gives you pleasure for many years to come.

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