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.
The 74-year-old has been out of football since leaving his role of director of football at St James' Park in 2014, which came five years after his short managerial spell at the club.
Wife Bonnie with the support of daughter Russelle, have now explained the current condition of Joe, and called for him to be put into full-time care.
Bonnie has also called for urgent action to be taken regarding care for former players, suspecting that repetitive heading may have been a cause for 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.
Having earned 26 Republic of Ireland caps, Kinnear retired at the age of just 30 before turning his hand to coaching, enjoying spells abroad before taking over at Wimbledon in 1992.
After that seven-year spell, he had stints with Luton and Nottingham Forest before replacing Kevin Keegan in the Newcastle dug-out between 2008 and 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.”
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