Worthington denies having Alzheimer’s

Frank Worthington

Frank Worthington’s eight England appearances all came in 1974

Former England striker Frank Worthington has denied that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

He issued a statement a day after his daughter claimed he had the condition.

Worthington, 67, explained: “I have never been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or any other neurological disorder or illness.

“I do have some issues with short term memory impairment but I have been assured this is not particularly unusual for a man of my age.”

Worthington had a playing career spanning 26 years that included more than 200 appearances for Leicester.

Having started his career at Huddersfield, he also played for many other clubs including Bolton, Birmingham, Southampton, Leeds, Sunderland and Tranmere where he was player-manager.

He added: “I continue to lead a full and active retirement.”

On Thursday, his daughter Kim-Malou Worthington wrote on Facebook: “He was diagnosed several years ago and has been holding it off with positive thinking and football.

“They say several footballers from my dad’s era seem to have suffered the same disease, possibly due to the constant heading of the heavy football back in the day.”

Jeff Astle, another ex-England striker, died in 2002 from brain trauma which a coroner ruled was caused by heading heavy leather balls.

Three members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning side – Martin Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson – also have Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia.

The Football Association wants world governing body Fifa to investigate whether former players have dementia as a consequence of playing the game.


In a recent interview, Worthington told the Daily Mail it was “brilliant” to see Leicester win the title

Worthington won eight England caps, scoring twice, and scored a memorable individual goal for Bolton during a Division One match against Ipswich in 1979.

He went on to manage Tranmere in the mid-1980s and was player-coach at hometown club Halifax in the 1991-92 season.

His daughter added: “It’s a funny thing that the one big lesson my dad always taught me was ‘mind over matter’… no matter how hard life gets, being positive will pull you through, every adversity is an opportunity for change and growth.

“My heart goes out to all those affected by Alzheimer’s, what a journey it is for all those affected.”

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