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Daily Record
Daily Record
Stuart Macdonald

Scots football legend Gordon McQueen's dementia decline is 'rapid', says daughter Hayley

Football legend Gordon McQueen’s daughter Hayley has revealed she fears her father will have to go into full-time care.

It was announced last year that the 70-year-old – who played for St Mirren, Leeds United and Manchester United – had been diagnosed with vascular dementia. His family believe years of heading the ball during a career which also saw him capped 30 times for Scotland led to his illness.

Sky Sports presenter Hayley, 42, said her dad’s decline had been “rapid” and that family members are struggling to cope with caring for him. She revealed that her mum, Yvonne, broke her leg earlier this year while looking after her dad and said an upcoming stint in respite care could become permanent.

Hayley said: “At the moment my dad is going to go in to respite care. We’ve told him he’s going to a five-star hotel to get rehab and have a nice time.

"He’s cool with that. There might come a time where he will have to go into full-time care. My mum just cannot cope.”

Should headers be banned in football? Share your views in the comments.

Speaking on the Made by Mammas podcast, Hayley added: “We’ve had to go through a lot with my dad. His decline has been quite rapid.”

She has become an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia (SUAD) campaign. A SUAD initiative aims to increase awareness of available dementia support, make sports dementia-friendly and fund and support research into any links between sport and dementia.

Last year Hayley called for a new law to limit the amount of times footballers can head the ball in training sessions. She said she would like to see greater use of virtual reality technology to mimic heading of the ball and a UK-wide rule to protect the health of footballers.

Gordon’s former Leeds United teammate Jack Charlton had dementia and died in 2020. Manchester United legends Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law have also been diagnosed with the disease.

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