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Former Ireland International Joe Kinnear Living With Dementia, Say Family

Former Ireland International Joe Kinnear Living With Dementia, Say Family
By Jonathan Byrne
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It's been confirmed that former Ireland international Joe Kinnear is battling dementia.

According to a report in today's Telegraph, the Dubliner is in the latter stages of battling with the severe impairment.

"He started to get moody - a bit depressed," his wife Bonnie Kinnear said. "I thought, 'this isn’t right’. Then he got aggressive in certain situations. It just wasn’t Joe."

Along with the likes of Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles, Kinnear is one of an ever-growing list of football greats who played in England in the 1960s to suffer from dementia.

Family of Joe Kinnear reveal dementia battle

Kinnear earned 26 caps for the national side and was a mainstay for Tottenham Hotspur over the course of a decade. His family think his illness is connected to his playing days.

"It’s just awful. They insure footballers against breakages, so why not against dementia?," they said in a statement.


His wife spoke about how difficult it was to try and get medical advice at first. "It was a problem trying to get him to see somebody."


"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."

Kinnear's family have fond memories of Joe looking back over the years. He would go on to manage a number of sides between 1984 and 2009, with his last spell at Newcastle.

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


The Dubliner's last involvement with football came in 2013, where he served as Newcastle's Director of Football until 2014.

Between 1965 and 1975 he lined out for Tottenham Hotspur on 196 occasions, before finishing his career at Brighton & Hove Albion a year later.

Kinnear won an FA Cup once, a League Cup twice and a UEFA Cup in 1972 during his time with Spurs.


Kinnear managed Wimbledon for seven seasons in the 1990s. His last job in management was with Newcastle and he is the last Dubliner to manage in the Premier League.

See Also: How Jimmy Greaves Became Known As The 'Garrincha Dog Catcher' in Brazil

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