April 19, 2021

Man Utd

News

Heartbroken Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen speaks out on her father’s battle with dementia

2 min read

Sky Sports News presented Hayley McQueen has opened up on her heartbreak after last month revealing her father Gordon, the former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United defender, had been diagnosed with vascular dementia. 

The 68-year-old’s family released a heartfelt, public statement in February in a bid to raise awareness of the disease and its links with football amid growing calls for action to be taken.

After Sportsmail’s campaign calling on football to finally tackle its dementia scandal, a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched an inquiry earlier this month and the first session is due take place on Tuesday.

Sky Sports News presented Hayley McQueen has opened up on her heartbreak following her father, Gordon McQueen's, dementia diagnosis

Sky Sports News presented Hayley McQueen has opened up on her heartbreak following her father, Gordon McQueen’s, dementia diagnosis

Gordon's family revealed in a statement last month he was diagnosed with vascular dementia in January

Gordon’s family revealed in a statement last month he was diagnosed with vascular dementia in January

McQueen, pictured with her father, Gordon, revealed her heartbreak following his dementia diagnosis

McQueen, pictured with her father, Gordon, revealed her heartbreak following his dementia diagnosis

McQueen, known for his aerial ability during his career, began his career at St Mirren, played 30 times for Scotland and won a First Division at Elland Road and an FA Cup while at Old Trafford.

He was diagnosed in January and became the latest former footballer to be hit by the disease. 

Now his daughter Hayley has opened up on her father’s struggles with the disease and still can’t believe how playing football has so heavily impacted his health.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, she said: ‘

‘Everyone’s dad is their hero. I didn’t realise he was other people’s hero as well.

‘I don’t think I really understood what he did until I was eight or nine. There have been moments where I’ve thought: ‘I can’t believe the thing that gave him so much love has now so cruelly taken a lot away from us.

‘He started to ask: “when am I going to get this sorted? when is someone going to fix my head?: We were kind of hoping it wouldn’t be dementia but I think we all knew it probably was.

‘He said a few years back: “if I ever have dementia or Alzheimer’s then I don’t want to know”, but he actually did want to know what was wrong with him and wanted to try and understand and maybe work with others to make sure the next generation of footballers aren’t in this situation.

‘Sport and football, you enter into it thinking it’s going to mentally and physically better me, it’s going to prolong my life. You don’t think at 60-years-old you’re going to have brain damage from something that you love.’ 

More to follow. 

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