07/02/2024 17comments  |  Jump to last

Dwight McNeil has opened up about how he has juggled his commitment to Everton with his unwavering devotion to his girlfriend, Megan, during the health emergency late last year that ended with her requiring open surgery.

The winger explained that, while he was scoring the winning goal for the Toffees at Nottingham Forest in early December, Megan was in hospital after doctors were finally able to pinpoint a large tumour on her ovary as being the source of illness that had been affecting her for quite some time.

She ultimately underwent surgery to remove the tumour and throughout Dwight was by her side when he wasn't training and playing matches during what was a hectic part of Everton's schedule.

As he explained in an interview for the matchday programme recently, “It was a difficult period for us both. I could have had time off to be with her but Meg insisted I went in every day, trained and played. I think we both agreed on that front early on – for my own sanity, really, because she knows how much I love football. That’s what kept me distracted for a few hours at a time. But there’s no getting away from the fact it was a tough time. 

“One of the hardest parts was not really knowing what the problem was for a while, but she was really poorly and it was a case of trying to find out what was wrong. It’s the first time in my life things have really changed and, because of that, you see things from a different perspective. I think I’ve learned a lot in the past few months, on and off the pitch.

“When I left her on Friday night to travel with the lads [to Nottingham], I was reassured that she’ll be fine but you can’t help but worry. Going to sleep that night wasn’t the easiest because you just think about things. 

“I spoke to her the day of the game and she seemed in good spirits which put my mind at ease a bit, then, afterwards, she was just really happy that we’d won and I’d scored.

“She stayed in hospital for that full week, so was still in when we played Newcastle and I managed to score another goal. Again, it was nice to bring just a little bit of happiness during that time where there are so many worries flying around. Those goals were for her and I was just really glad to be able to help the team.

“Going into Christmas was really difficult, knowing what was coming up,” McNeil explained. “On the day of the operation, we got to the hospital at around 7 am and it was just a case of waiting. I was with her, then she was taken down to have it done at 10.30 am and under anaesthetic for just under three hours.

“That was the longest three hours of my life. Your mind is racing. Thankfully, it went really well and she was really well looked after. At around 4pm, it was my time to go to play the City game. I was straight back after the game to stay with her in hospital that night. 

“We managed to get out just in time for New Year, so it was nice to have that at home together and now she’s on the recovery side.”

Megan's surgery was successful but she still has weeks of rehabilitation ahead of her as well as further tests to discover if any further treatment is needed. Not surprisingly, Dwight has received plenty of support from the club during a challenging period in his relatively young life.

"The Club have been really good about the whole situation," he said. "I can’t thank them all enough. The gaffer has been really supportive. He checks on me regularly and the Club have let me know throughout that they would help in any way they possibly can, which has been great for us.

“I told Shay and Tarky, who are my two closest mates, in those early days when we first found out as well. They are both first-class people."

You can read the full interview at evertonfc.com: Part I and Part II, in which he talks more about his time at Goodison Park since joining the Blues from Burnley 18 months ago. 


Reader Comments (17)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 07/02/2024 at 18:10:27
Having been through family things in recent years and in recent weeks, I can only relate to this.

Top man, humble human being and a really good player.

Keep going Dwight.

First and foremost, look after your family.

But then keep doing what you do on the pitch.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 07/02/2024 at 18:33:35
Shay being Seamus I presume. Good lad, got his head down and carried on.
Matt Byrne
3 Posted 07/02/2024 at 18:50:55
Like Danny and many others on here, I can relate to this. Please remember that we have a good lad here. A lovely left foot, but a top person. He's doing his best for his partner and his team and fans.

The next time a pass goes astray from Dwight (or any other player), remember to be kind and show support. He gives his all. That's all he can do.

All our fans I am sure wish Megan a swift recovery.

Mark Ryan
4 Posted 07/02/2024 at 18:56:41
Top man, great little player.
Paul Ferry
5 Posted 07/02/2024 at 19:13:30
Nothing but complete admiration for Dwight. What an inspiring and touching relationship he has with Megan who I wish a full and timely recovery. This will be the making of them both.
John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 07/02/2024 at 19:20:47
Hi all, I'm sure that all Evertonians will at sometime in their lives come to the conclusion that there are more important things than football. I have, many times, told those who rip Everton to pieces that, if the worst thing that happens to them during a season is an Everton defeat, then they have had a decent time.

Best wishes to Dwight Mc Neil and his young lady.

Lynn Maher
7 Posted 07/02/2024 at 20:19:43
Wishing only good things for Dwight and Megan.
Brent Stephens
8 Posted 07/02/2024 at 20:52:04
Dwight sounds as decent a man off the pitch as he is on it. Best wishes to Dwight and Megan.
Liam Heffernan
9 Posted 07/02/2024 at 23:07:46
Dwight is a great player and asset to the club. I wish him and Megan a long and happy life.
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 07/02/2024 at 23:39:25
He's a young man under a tremendous spotlight. Must be very hard but also shows her level of fortitude telling him to play knowing the fear she must be facing.

Best wishes to them both.

Duncan McDine
11 Posted 08/02/2024 at 07:49:15
Footballers are human like the rest of us, so the way he's managed to get on with things through such a difficult time is impressive. However, I wonder if this is all starting to take its toll on Dwight...

After a year of being one of our best and most consistent players, his form has taken a downturn lately. Unfortunately Everton do not have the luxury of a deep squad, so I can't see him getting much rest. Like everyone else, I wish them both the very best.

Jerome Shields
12 Posted 08/02/2024 at 08:46:27
Wishing Megan well and support for Dwight during a trying time that most can relate to.
Dale Rose
13 Posted 08/02/2024 at 12:03:50
All the very best to them both.
Gaute Lie
14 Posted 08/02/2024 at 13:54:35
All best wishes for the both of them. A good player and decent human being.
Christy Ring
15 Posted 08/02/2024 at 15:01:46
I take my hat off to him for playing football and his partner so seriously ill, it must have been heartbreaking hope they have a good future together.
Liam Heffernan
16 Posted 08/02/2024 at 15:18:08
Dwight is a great player and a big asset to the club. I wish him and Megan a long and healthy life.
Mike Dolan
17 Posted 19/02/2024 at 01:15:08
Wishing both of them well. If anyone ever deserved a standing O, it's this young man. An inspiring story.

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