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What Jason Kelce did to his Eagles trainer battling cancer before his retirement speech AMAZED and TOUCHED Fans – “Jason gave him a gift her will never forget..”

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Philadelphia Eagles trainer Joseph O’Pella has revealed Jason Kelce asked him to tape his ankles for his retirement press conference after he missed the center’s final game in the NFL.

 

Jason Kelce announcing his retirement

O’Pella, who has taped Kelce every day during his 13 NFL seasons in Philadelphia, revealed on Instagram that he didn’t have the chance to at his final game because he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

He also commented how Kelce offered O’Pella his shore house ‘if I needed to get away’ and also offered to pay for meal services to help the trainer’s family out while he battled cancer.

An emotional Kelce broke down in tears at a press conference on Monday as he hung up his cleats after a sensational 13 years in the NFL with his brother Travis, wife Kylie and parents Ed and Donna watching on.

In pictures of Kelce stood up and hugging brother Travis when he came off stage, the tape around his ankles can clearly be seen.

Writing on Instagram, O’Pella explained that Kelce had asked him to tape up his ankles as he prepared to call time on his NFL career.

He wrote: ‘I remember back in Jason’s 2nd year, when he tore his knee, I went to the head trainer and told him that I needed to do his rehab because he needed to be treated like an athlete, not a conventional offensive lineman.

‘What would occur over the next 12+ years would certainly impact my life in a way I never imagined.

‘You all know about the on-field accomplishments, and many of the off-the-field ones too, but what this man has meant to me and now my family over the past decade plus is nearly indescribable.

‘From being his Wing Bowl “cornerman”, to hour long rehab sessions followed by nights out on the town, to sleeping on each other’s couches to being at each other’s weddings, to Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunges to Super Bowl appearances and a ring, we were there doing it together.

‘And in what would be his final season, when I was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo radiation and chemo, he offered his shore house if I needed to get away and offered to pay for meal services to help my wife and I out, and he called me randomly when I had been home, too sick to come in because of chemo, just to check on me and chat about random things.

‘That’s who he is as a person. I taped this guy’s ankles and thumbs everyday for 13 seasons, and when he played his last game in Tampa, again I couldn’t be there due to cancer.

‘And when he told me he would be retiring and I expressed my regret of not being the last person to ever tape him, and he offered to have me tape him for his retirement press conference. That’s who he is. And I hope these stories can add to an already unbelievable legacy.

‘Congratulations to the entire Kelce family on a Hall of Fame career on and off the field.

‘To Kylie’s husband; Wyatt, Elliotte, and Bennett’s dad; the Eagles’ center; Philadelphia’s icon, and my brother: Jason, congratulations on retirement and here’s to the future. I love ya’.

Talking about O’Pella on the latest episode of the New Heights podcast alongside brother Travis, Kelce said: ‘A lot of people don’t know this but one of the trainers at the Eagles has been battling cancer all season long and he’s been there my entire career, Joe O’Pella.

‘Thankfully he’s in remission. They don’t have any signs of it. They’re still going to do an operation to make sure but he’s looking good.

‘He wasn’t able to tape me for any of the games this year so he taped my ankles for the press conference one last time.’

Kelce burst into tears before he even started speaking on Monday and then finally ended months of speculation as he ended his career after 13 years in the NFL.

He needed 45 minutes to recount his career from his childhood in Ohio to his final days with the Eagles through tears, laughter and many thanks to his biggest influences before he finally announced he was retiring.

‘I have been the underdog my entire career,’ he said. ‘And I mean this when I say it, I still wish I was.’

An emotional Kelce struggled to get his words out – regularly pausing for long periods and his voice breaking as he tried to hold back the tears.

Speculation first emerged that Kelce would hang up his cleats when the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.

However, he refused to announce a definitive decision on his future in the weeks that followed, instead supporting brother Travis throughout the postseason as the Kansas City Chiefs eventually won the Super Bowl.

Kelce came close to retiring this time last year but decided to stay on for another season after struggling to walk away – a process that was captured on film in his hit Amazon Prime documentary.

Kelce ended his career by making 156 straight starts, and he earned six All-Pro Team selections. He played 193 regular-season games for the Eagles.

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