The family of Joe Kinnear have made public that the former Tottenham Hotspur defender and Newcastle United manager has been living with dementia since 2015.
Since leaving his position as director of football at St. James’ Park in 2014, five years after his brief managerial stint at the club, the 74-year old has been out of sport.
The wife Bonnie and Russelle have shared the details of Joe’s condition with him, and requested that he be placed in full-time medical care.
Bonnie also demanded that urgent action be taken to care for ex-players, as she suspects repetitive heading could have contributed to her husband’s dementia.
She told The Telegraph: “I’ve been greatly saddened to see so many former players battling dementia.
“It’s just awful. They insure footballers against breakages, so why not against dementia?
“There must be enough money in football to help those who need it.
“And they must take further steps to make the game safer for those playing now and in the future. More has to be done in both areas. This is not about us – it’s about the whole of football.”
Kinnear made his name as a professional with Spurs in 1965, going on to make 196 league appearances for the club over a ten-year spell before spending a year with Brighton.
Kinnear, who had 26 Republic of Ireland caps at the time of his retirement, turned to coaching and enjoyed spells abroad, before taking over at Wimbledon 1992.
After that seven year spell, Kinnear spent time with Luton (now Nottingham Forest) before he took over as Newcastle’s director of football between 2008-2009.
He retuned to St James’ Park as director of football in 2013, resigning the following year.
Kinnear’s daughter Russelle added: “Common sense tells you that the damage starts as soon as you start heading a ball.
“This is about educating schools, academies, parents and coaches. It has been totally heartbreaking.
“I feel like my parents have been robbed of so many good years together.”