Gordon McQueen, former Manchester United, Leeds and Scotland defender, has warned current footballers of the potential risks associated with repeated hitting after being diagnosed with vascular dementia.
In a statement released by his wife Yvonne, daughters Hayley and Anna and son Edward, it was reported that McQueen started experiencing symptoms of dementia in his mid-sixties and was formally diagnosed earlier this year.
It follows news from hundreds of other former footballers living with dementia precocious and, after an ongoing five-year campaign by The Telegraph, research that found ex-professionals were 3.5 times more likely to die of a neurodegenerative disease.
This included a five-fold risk of Alzheimer’s disease and a four-fold risk of motor neuron disease.
McQueen’s 15-year career, which began in 1970 at St Mirren and ended after his departure from Manchester United in 1985, has straddled the ‘old leather ball’ and the synthetic soccer balls that are used today. With half of the 1966 World Cup winning England squad also being diagnosed with dementia, McQueen’s news further adds to the anecdotal evidence that this is not a problem limited to one era particular.
McQueen’s daughter Hayley is also a presenter on Sky Sports and she posted a post with photos of her father on Twitter.