Greg Mackey is dying. Cancer is eating away at the former Souths, Illawarra and Bulldogs star and he knows his days are numbered. But he has one last mission on this earth. "It's going to get me, I am resigned to that," says the brave 52 year old. "But the last thing I want to do is tell my old team-mates and the guys I played against to get themselves checked. Men tend to ignore that kind of thing......I did." "By the time I did go to my doctor, it was too late. But I'm not dead yet and if I can get the message out to guys of my generation, I feel I will have achieved something before I go." Mackey was a competitive, cheeky halfback who played 149 first grade games for Souths, Illawarra and the Bulldogs between 1980-89 before moving to England, where he enjoyed near-superstar status. While his plight has gone largely unnoticed in his homeland, English club Warrington recently held a fundraiser to help their former skipper pay his medical bills. "I can't tell you how humbled I am that they remember me and put their hands in their pockets for me more than 20 years after I left the place," he said. " I had some great times there and it's nice to know I haven't been forgotten". "I played a club record for most consecutive games (98) and the fans thought I was bulletproof. Sadly, we now have proof I'm not." Mackey played 123 games in two stints for Warrington (1989 and 1992-86) and led them to a famous Lancashire Cup final triumph. He also skippered Hull to a premiership win in 1990-91, winning the Harry Sunderland Medal as man of the match. Friends are rallying around Mackey in his time of need. Veteran coach Brian Smith has fond memories of the red-haired half, who played under him at Souths, Illawarra and Hull. "He was a great player to coach - so enthusiastic," Smith says. "He was a player who got the best out of himself." Mackey will join former Illawarra team-mates at a Steelers reunion on August 8 - if his health allows it. He is also spending remaining time with family, including twin grandkids. "I have my had days, but I can't afford to be too negative," he says. "I still play the odd round of golf when I have the strength but I'm about to undergo another round of chemotherapy, which really knocks you around. It can't save me, but it might give me a few more months." "I am determined to enjoy what time I have left." Tony Adams RLW July 25, 2014.