Ex-St Helens star Luke Thompson opens up on traumatic summer

England international Luke Thompson has opened up about a traumatic few months which have seen him struggle badly with concussion symptoms and return home to help his mother with serious health issues.

Thompson has been at Canterbury Bulldogs since 2020, when he made the move to the NRL from St Helens.

But until playing last week in their defeat at Parramatta Eels, the 27-year-old prop had not featured since May because of a concussion suffered against St George Illawarra Dragons.

“For the first few weeks, it was pretty bad,” Thompson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I had headaches and I didn’t want to go out of the house some days because my head was banging.

“The week after we had Penrith. It was a night game; the full lights were on and there was the crowd. I sat there and I couldn’t even watch the game, my head was just banging.”

At the end of June, Thompson was allowed to come back to England to deal with a personal issue.

He has now revealed that his mother was struggling with a long-term health problem and had suffered liver failure.

“I got a phone call from my brother back home, he said he didn’t think my mum had long left,” Thompson said.

“She’s not been too well for a while, but at the age of 54 I’ve not seen that coming. She was a bit in denial with what’s going on, she was jaundiced and bright yellow.

“My brother couldn’t persuade her to go to the hospital. I stayed with for three nights and managed to persuade her to go to the hospital. If I hadn’t gone home, she might not be here now.

“She’s gotten a bit better. I went home to help her get the treatment. I pretty much saved her life.”

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