Former Manchester United, Leeds, and Scotland defender Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with vascular dementia.
His family has released a statement saying they’ve chosen to tell people as raising awareness may “help others in similar situations”.
They go on to say how McQueen wants “footballers of today’s generation to know there may be risks with the persistent heading of the ball.”
The news comes after his former teammate Jack Charlton and 1966 World Cup winner Nobby Stiles died last year with the condition.
His family said that the former center-back was formally diagnosed in January, the statement reads:
“As a family, we felt it was important to let people know, particularly if raising awareness can help others in similar situations,”
“Whilst as a family we’ve found it hard to come to terms with the changes in dad, he has no regrets about his career and has lived life to the full.
“He had unforgettable experiences in his playing days with Scotland, Manchester United, and Leeds United, and also took so much from his coaching and TV work in more recent times.”
Heartbreaking not to be spending precious time with dad of late but trying to stay positive & also raise awareness about vascular dementia as a family. It’s a cruel disease but had plenty help recently from both @PFA & @FA 💔Thank you for the messages of support on here already https://t.co/fPhVEXJN0b pic.twitter.com/lmV1TGZknG
— HAYLEY MCQUEEN (@HayleyMcQueen) February 23, 2021
The statement goes on to say “Dad scored some important goals in his career and memorable headers but used to stay back in training, heading the ball to the goalkeeper for practice over and over,” said the McQueen family. “He does wonder if this has been a factor in his dementia as his symptoms appeared in his mid-60s”.
“He is fully aware of his friends and family still and his memory of all things football is sharp, but his cognitive functions are not the same.
“We don’t want people to be surprised by his condition or continue to ask him for media interviews or autographs which he is not able to do anymore.
“Whilst he is looking forward to seeing people again after lockdown and getting the social aspect of life back, we know people will see a big difference in his health so wanted to be transparent.
“We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and hope sharing this news will help dad to face the future in a positive way.”