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Gary Lineker admits he's worried about losing his memory after football career

Dominic Smithers

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Gary Lineker admits he's worried about losing his memory after football career

Featured Image Credit: BBC/Aflo Co. Ltd./Alamy

Gary Lineker says he is 'deeply worried' about his memory after his career in football.

The former England striker played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona and Tottenham, scoring hundreds of goals.

But he recently revealed that he remembers 'hardly any' of them and doesn't know what's going on.

Speaking during 'An Evening with Gary Lineker' event at London’s Design Museum recently, the 61-year-old said it's something that really concerns him.

When asked how many of his 281 goals, including 48 for England, the Match of The Day presenter said: "Hardly any."

Gary Lineker says he struggles to remember his goals. Credit: David Edsam/Alamy
Gary Lineker says he struggles to remember his goals. Credit: David Edsam/Alamy

Despite a few chuckles from the crowd, Lineker said he was being serious.

He went on: "No, I’m not joking. I’m genuine and it worries me a little bit. But I’ve always been like that.

"I was at Atletico Madrid’s ground recently. Someone said, 'Did you score here?'

"I went, 'I don’t think so', and he went, 'You scored five goals in this ground'.

"I was deeply worried. What’s wrong with me?

"This has been the same for 20-odd years"

While he didn't mention the issue of dementia, there have been a number of high profile cases of retired footballers struggling with their memory in later life.

Last year, it was revealed that Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton had been diagnosed with the illness.

Lady Norma Charlton confirmed to The Telegraph that her husband was suffering with the illness, and gave consent to reporting on the matter in the hope that knowledge about the World Cup winner's illness would help others.

Sir Bobby Charlton was diagnosed with dementia last year. Credit: dpa picture alliance archive/Alamy
Sir Bobby Charlton was diagnosed with dementia last year. Credit: dpa picture alliance archive/Alamy

Two other members of that 1966 squad – Martin Peters and Ray Wilson – have died from dementia in the past few years.

And Scottish legend Gordon McQueen was also recently diagnosed with the disease.

His daughter, Sky Sports presenter Hayley, said his health had declined rapidly.

"At the moment my dad is going to go in to respite care," she said. "We’ve told him he’s going to a five-star hotel to get rehab and have a nice time.

"He’s cool with that. There might come a time where he will have to go into full-time care. My mum just cannot cope."

Speaking on the Made by Mammas podcast, Hayley added: "We’ve had to go through a lot with my dad. His decline has been quite rapid."

Hayley and others have called for a limit to be brought in for the number of times a player is allowed to head the ball in training.

Topics: Australia, Football, Gary Lineker

Dominic Smithers
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