Former Liverpool and England midfielder Terry McDermott has been diagnosed with dementia.
The 69-year-old scored 81 goals in 329 appearances for the Reds between 1974 and 1982.
McDermott, who also had two spells as a player for Newcastle, says he is in the early stages of Lewy body dementia after undergoing hospital tests.
“I’ve got to get on with it and I will. It’s the way I’ve been brought up,” he told the Liverpool club website.
“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. The worst thing was, until my condition was diagnosed you don’t know what’s going on. The number of ex-players being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s is frightening.”
It comes just days after Scotland and Manchester United legend Denis Law revealed he had been diagnosed with dementia.
His former United team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton was diagnosed with the condition last year – the fifth member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning side to be diagnosed.
A study in 2019 found that professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to die from dementia than people of the same age range in the general population.
Sir Bobby’s brother Jack, and Nobby Stiles, both died last year after suffering from brain functioning diseases believed to be linked closely to heading footballs, while both Martin Peters and Ray Wilson – who died in 2019 and 2018 respectively – also had the condition.
McDermott – who won 25 England caps – is considered one of Liverpool’s greatest ever midfielders, lifting four league titles, three European Cups, a Uefa Cup and two League Cups with the Reds.
He signed from Newcastle, before returning to the club from Liverpool eight years later, amassing more than 120 appearances for the Magpies.
He later had two spells as assistant manager at St James’ Park, in 1992-1998 and 2005-2008, before going on to hold the role at Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City.