United send best wishes to McQueen family

Tuesday 23 February 2021 15:40

Manchester United would like to send our support and best wishes to Gordon McQueen and his family after the former defender was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Gordon signed for the club from Leeds United in 1978 and became a firm favourite during his years at Old Trafford.

He has remained close to the Reds since his retirement, working regularly in the MUTV studio, and his daughter Hayley was also a very popular presenter with the official channel from 2006 to 2010 before joining Sky Sports.

A statement was released by the 68-year-old's family on Tuesday, explaining the situation.

Gordon McQueen was a no-nonsense centre-back in his playing days.

“In January, Gordon McQueen, our dad, was formally diagnosed with vascular dementia,” said the statement.

“As a family, we felt it was important to let people know, particularly if raising awareness can help others in similar situations.

“Whilst, as a family, we’ve found it hard to come to terms with the changes in dad, he has no regrets about his career and has lived life to the full.

“He had unforgettable experiences in his playing days with Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United, and also took so much from his coaching and TV work in more recent times.

“Dad scored some important goals in his career and memorable headers but used to stay back in training, heading the ball to the goalkeeper for practice over and over,” the statement continued.

“He does wonder if this has been a factor in his dementia as his symptoms appeared in his mid-60s.”

An independently chaired FA Research Taskforce is currently investigating the causes of neurodegenerative disorders in former professional footballers.

The McQueen family statement said the past year in lockdown had been tough for Gordon “as Dad is such a sociable person and thrives off company”.

“Social interaction is key for someone with dementia and he has been deprived of this for so long. He is fully aware of his friends and family still, and his memory of all things football is sharp, but his cognitive functions are not the same.

Gordon McQueen in action during the 1983 FA Cup final against Brighton.

"We don’t want people to be surprised by his condition or continue to ask him for media interviews or autographs, which he is not able to do any more.

“Whilst he is looking forward to seeing people again after lockdown and getting the social aspect of life back, we know people will see a big difference in his health so wanted to be transparent.

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

See Gordon score against Colchester in January, 1984.

Gordon scored in the 1979 FA Cup final when the Reds lost 3-2 to Arsenal but helped us lift the trophy at Wembley four years later, after a replay against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The ex-Scotland international later worked under former Old Trafford team-mate Bryan Robson at Middlesbrough.

Everybody at United would like to reiterate our heartfelt best wishes to Gordon and his family.