Former Aston Villa, Manchester United and Leicester City footballer Colin Gibson today announces that he has dementia at 62, saying he no longer wants to hide his condition and hopes it helps others.
Ahead of the 40-year anniversary of Villa’s 1982 European Cup triumph, Colin, with the support of his loving wife, Kim, spoke to Sportsmail to explain why ‘it’s time’ to reveal his early-onset diagnosis from November 2021.
‘I’m not going to go down without a fight,’ says Colin, who first started showing signs of the disease in 2016 and continues to work as a match-day host for Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Former Aston Villa, Manchester United (pictured in 1988) and Leicester City footballer Colin Gibson has announced that he has dementia at 62
His announcement comes ahead of the 40-year anniversary of Villa’s 1982 European Cup win
Gibson still golfs, gyms and continues to work as a match-day host for Leicester
‘As a footballer, you don’t like to show weakness to your opponents. We’ve got our certain kind of pride.
‘There is plenty of support out there. Don’t be ashamed, don’t hide behind this masculine sort of facade.
‘It happens to us and it’ll continue to happen. At least then you can understand it, get medical help and support.’
Kim adds: ‘Colin will not give in to anything. That’s his mindset. It always has been as a footballer. And Colin doesn’t want to give in to this either.’
The 62-year-old still golfs, gyms and enjoys life with his five dogs and family in Worcester.
‘Sometimes you get yourself into a slightly embarrassing position where you completely forget something and you haven’t got an answer and can’t find the words,’ he continues, ‘and they think, “Oh look at that thick footballer!”
Mick Lyons, 70, this week revealed his battle with dementia, which is still in its early stages
‘It felt logical (to announce his dementia diagnosis). At least people around us can then understand. The reason we’re doing this is to make more people aware. If we can help just one person, it’s worth it.’
The Gibson family hope this might encourage other footballers to not let pride get in the way of their health and seek help.
They’ve been supported by Dawn Astle, the daughter of the legendary Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 with the trauma-induced disease CTE.
Colin’s announcement comes a day after Everton legend Mick Lyons, 70, revealed he was diagnosed with dementia last year.