THE FAMILY of a Celtic legend who is suffering from dementia say they are convinced his condition is linked to his football career.

Relatives of Jim Brogan are now calling for more research into the links between the disease and football.

Jim, who played left back for the Parkhead side for 13 years, was part of Jock Stein’s dream team in the 1970s.

The 72-year-old, who lives in the South Side, played for the Hoops at the 1970 European Cup Final, and won four caps for Scotland during his career between 1963 and 1975.

Sadly, the former player started showing signs of dementia more than a decade ago,while he was still in his 50s, and was eventually diagnosed in 2008.

Evening Times:

His condition is now so severe that he no longer recognises family members, and needs constant care and supervision from his wife Joyce, 69. According to Jim’s daughter Colette, no other members of the family, including Jim’s older siblings and his parents, have ever suffered from the condition and there is no history of it in the family.

Colette, 49, is now calling for further research into the link between dementia and football which was published this week.

She said: “We are 100 per cent convinced the dementia is due to his career as a footballer.

“There are loads of players in that era who have dementia, not just my dad.

“There is no dementia on either side of my family, in any form. Nobody has ever had it. To me it just seems to be very unusual.

“He has been playing football since he was very young. At the age of 16 he started playing Juniors, then he went to Celtic, Ayr United, Coventry City... the link is clearly there.

My grandfather is 93, and he is fine.

“My dad’s uncle is still alive. He’s much older and he doesn’t have dementia.

“My dad is only 72, he was diagnosed nine years ago.”

Evening Times:

After his successful footballing career, which started as a youngster playing for St Roch’s, Glasgow man Jim ran a string of pubs across the city.

Included in his portfolio were the Wintersgills on Great Western Road, the Victoria Bar on Victoria Road and the Star Bar at Eglinton Toll.

He also owned a number of pubs in Falkirk.

It was while he was still working that he started showing his first signs of dementia.

“I first remember it showing when I went on holiday with my mum and dad to Portugal, it was about 15 years ago.” Colette explained.

“Dad went off to make a phone call to his business partner but he was away for hours.

“He eventually found my mother and said he had completely lost his bearing of where he was.

“We laughed it off at the time, but that was the first sign of what was to come.

“After that there were incidents in the pub where bills weren’t being paid and orders were skew-whiff, things like that. In the last eight years it has just been a slow, gradual process of deterioration but now he doesn’t recognise me. He doesn’t know who any of us are, except my mum.

“I’ll never forget the day he couldn’t remember my name. It’ll stay with me forever.”

Since July last year, the family have had to watch Jim’s health “rapidly decline”, and say there should be more support for older players with dementia.

Colette said; “It’s now getting to the point we have had to put a lock on the kitchen door as he blew up the kettle “My mother found him eating raw meat in the fridge one day, he put raw chicken wings into the kettle...

“He got up the other morning and had his coat and shoes on straight away.

“ Since July til now there has been a massive decline in his health.”

“For all the ex players, not just my dad, there needs to be more support for them. There is too much of a coincidence in the number of them who have now got dementia.

“There are all these players who, when they were diagnosed, were all youngish men and now look at them.”

For help or advice on dealing with dementia, contact the Alzheimer’s Scotland 24-hour helpline on 0808 808 3000 or visit www.alzscot.org