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#PLStories- Aston Villa hero Colin Gibson reveals battle with dementia #AVFC

Aston Villa

Former Aston Villa full-back Colin Gibson has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. The 62-year-old was a part of Villa’s greatest team which won the English First Division title in 1981 and the European Cup in 1982, as well as the UEFA Supercup. He made a total of 185 appearances in claret and blue before leaving for Manchester United. Gibson came through the ranks at Villa as a youth team scholar in 1976. He transferred to United in November 1985 for a fee of £275,000 and played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. Gibson now feels comfortable to reveal his condition and wants to encourage other former players to seek help.

Colin Gibson said: “My wife, family and I believe this is the right time to let supporters know. I am fit and well and able to do most things that I enjoy. Sometimes you get yourself into a slightly embarrassing position where you completely forget something and you haven’t got an answer and can’t find the words. It felt logical to make the statement. At least people around us can then understand.”

He added that he wants people to be aware of his diagnosis so other former players feel ready to access help.

Colin Gibson added: “It’s something I think needs to be revealed. It’s the 40th anniversary of winning the European Cup. We’re going to be in a big hall, a big dinner, meeting people. I don’t want to be hiding things from that. The more we know about it, the more we learn, the more we can help. Footballers can be secretive. They don’t want people to get inside of their private lives and this is private. [But] there is plenty of support out there. Don’t be ashamed, don’t hide behind this masculine sort of facade. At least then you can understand it, get medical help and support. It happens to us and it’ll continue to happen.”

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