Former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United defender Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, his family have confirmed

The 68-year-old, whose career started at St Mirren, has played 30 times for Scotland and won the English Premier League with Leeds and the FA Cup at Manchester United

McQueen then managed Airdrie and coach at Middlesbrough, before working as a TV expert

“As a family, we felt it was important to educate people, especially if awareness can help other people in similar situations,” they said in a statement.

“While as a family we have struggled to accept dad’s changes, he has no regrets about his career and has lived his life to the fullest

“He has had some unforgettable experiences during his playing days with Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United, and has also benefited a lot from his coaching and television work lately”

According to NHS estimates, vascular dementia affects around 150,000 people in the UK They say it is caused by decreased blood flow to the brain and leads to gradual changes and damage to the organ

The family statement, attributed to McQueen’s wife Yvonne, daughters Hayley and Anna, and son Edward, said that McQueen “wants current generation footballers to know that there can be risks with a persistent ball header “

Former McQueen Leeds teammate Jack Charlton died of dementia last year and it has been confirmed in recent months that Sir Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with the disease Three other members of the 1966 World Cup-winning England squad were also diagnosed with dementia

Dr Willie Stewart, the neurosurgeon who has conducted research into football’s links to dementia, warned that the problem is not only with older footballers, but also modern-age footballers.

“Dad scored important career goals and memorable headers, but he stayed in training, directing the ball towards the goalkeeper to practice over and over again,” the McQueen family said. wonders if this was a factor in her dementia when her symptoms started in her mid-60s

“He is always fully aware of his friends and family and his memory of all football related matters is sharp, but his cognitive functions are not the same

“We don’t want people to be surprised by his condition or keep asking the media for interviews or autographs, which he can’t do anymore

“As he looks forward to seeing people again after the lockdown and getting back to the social side of life, we know people will see a big difference in his health, so we wanted to be transparent

“We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and hope that sharing this news will help Dad face the future in a positive way”

McQueen moved from Paisley to Elland Road in 1972, winning the English elite two seasons later and reaching the European Cup final in 1975, where Leeds were beaten by Bayern Munich

He joined Manchester United in 1978, winning the FA Cup five years later, before ending his career alongside Hong Kong, Seiko SA

The defender has scored five goals in his 30 Scotland appearances and was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2012

The Football Association is currently supporting two independent studies examining former professional players for early signs of neurocognitive degeneration

The University of Nottingham’s FOCUS study is funded by the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association, while the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s HEADING study is funded by the Drake Foundation

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Gordon McQueen

News from the world – GB – McQueen diagnosed with dementia