Joe Kinnear has been battling dementia for six years

Wife Bonnie reveals that the 74-year-old was diagnosed in 2015

Joe Kinnear’s wife has revealed that the former Ireland international is suffering with dementia. Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Joe Kinnear’s wife has revealed that the former Ireland international is suffering with dementia. Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

 

Joe Kinnear’s family have revealed the former Ireland international has been living with dementia since 2015.

The 74-year-old spent more than a decade as a player, notably winning the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Uefa Cup during his time with Tottenham between 1966 and 1975.

Kinnear was born in Dublin before moving to England at the age of seven. Between 1967 and 1975 he made 26 appearances for Ireland.

Kinnear’s wife Bonnie has confirmed her husband, who was forced to retire at the age of 30, was diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia in 2015 and his condition has since deteriorated.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, she said: “He started to get moody — a bit depressed. I thought, ‘This isn’t right.‘

“Then he got aggressive in certain situations. It just wasn’t Joe. It was a problem trying to get him to see somebody but we eventually got him to a doctor and he was diagnosed in 2015.

“They classed it as early onset vascular dementia and, since then, he has just deteriorated. He’s in the late stage. It is heartbreaking to see how someone can change.

“He was larger than life. He loved people. He’d walk in a pub, buy everyone a drink, tell funny stories and be the life and soul of the party.”

After Kinnear retired as a player, he turned his hand to management and enjoyed plenty of highs with Wimbledon before spells with Luton, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, while his last role was in 2014 as director of football at St James’ Park.

Just a year after leaving the Magpies, he was diagnosed with dementia to join a long list of footballers to have suffered with the disease. World Cup winners Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton, Ray Wilson and Martin Peters have died after suffering from dementia.

Dawn Astle, the daughter of former West Brom forward Jeff Astle, has campaigned tirelessly for greater recognition of the issue since her father’s death in 2002 at the age of 59 was attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head.

Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Terry McDermott and Gordon McQueen are all living with degenerative neurological conditions and Bonnie Kinnear added, “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.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.