McDermott insists 'battling is second nature' after dementia diagnosis

‘I’m not frightened’: Terry McDermott insists ‘battling is second nature’ after his devastating dementia diagnosis as Liverpool and Newcastle icon opens-up on early signs of disease linked to his football career

  • Liverpool legend Terry McDermott has been diagnosed with dementia
  • The former midfielder announced he is in the early stages of the disease
  • McDermott is used to battling and has insisted he’s ready to fight the illness 
  • Dementia’s links to heading are now clear and McDermott admits he saw signs

Former England midfielder Terry McDermott has vowed to fight dementia after revealing his devastating diagnosis.

The 69-year-old announced on Saturday that he is in the early stages of Lewy Body Dementia.

McDermott said: ‘I’ve got to get on with it and I will. It’s the way I’ve been brought up. Nothing has come to me easily. I’m not frightened of taking it on and also, as we’ve seen, there are a lot of former players in a worse state than me. Battling is second nature.’

Terry McDermott has been diagnosed with dementia, along with a host of his old colleagues 

McDermott is a battler and the former midfielder will take the same attitude towards disease

McDermott and his family wonder if heading a football is connected to his illness, and he says he first became concerned during a speaking event with Kevin Keegan a few years ago.

‘We were on stage and Kevin was telling a story and handed over to me to finish it off,’ he said.

‘My mind went blank and I said I couldn’t remember what had happened next. The audience started laughing thinking it was part of the act.

‘Kevin saved the situation by taking the mickey out of me and continuing himself with the tale, but it left me worrying that something wasn’t right. There were a few other instances where I struggled to explain certain things.’

The former Newcastle midfielder and coach saw early signs the disease was developing 

His wife, Carole, added: ‘It is not always about forgetting things or not knowing where he is going, it’s more about him getting confused and not explaining properly what he wants to say.

‘He also worries more. Years ago, he didn’t worry about a thing. That’s all part of his condition.’

McDermott will continue in his role as a matchday host in the hospitality lounges at former club Liverpool, and he said: ‘I’ve been looking forward to going down to Anfield and seeing the lads, people I have known for years, and having a good craic with them.

‘Thankfully, there are games coming up regularly now which I can go to.’

McDermott’s diagnosis comes on the back of last week’s news that former Scotland and Manchester United forward Denis Law is also battling dementia.

And McDermott said: ‘The number of ex-players being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s is frightening.’

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