Football hero Robbie Savage is part of a new campaign to combat the disease
Former Welsh international Robbie Savage was heartbroken when he lost his father Colin to dementia aged just 64. Having been diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s called Pick’s disease six years earlier, Colin gradually deteriorated and passed away in 2012.
Now Robbie is at the forefront of a major new campaign called Sport United Against Dementia, which for the first time brings together key figures from the Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board and Premiership Rugby.
Robbie, 46, says: ‘My dad was my hero and was struck down by dementia in his prime. It was absolutely devastating for the whole family. With so many of our footballing heroes having also been affected by dementia, I couldn’t sit back and not act.”
‘The long-term campaign has been launched by the Alzheimer’s Society, for who Robbie has been an ambassador for over the past decade’
The long-term campaign has been launched by the Alzheimer’s Society, for who Robbie has been an ambassador for over the past decade. He is also now Director of Football at the relaunched Macclesfield FC, which has chosen the Alzheimer’s Society as its official charity partner.
‘It’s important to me to see this club unite with a charity so close to my heart,” Robbie adds. ‘We fully support the charity’s efforts to call for more research and raise funds and awareness of vital support services.”
The campaign is also being backed by Harry Redknapp, Freddie Flintoff and Jermaine Jenas, while England icon Sir Geoff Hurst is a big supporter after seeing dementia affect his World Cup-winning teammates. ‘The England team of 1966 had a relationship that will always remain special because of what we achieved as a group of people,’ he says. ‘That was down to our camaraderie, and I hope that people across the country will embrace that team spirit and unite against dementia.
Visit alzheimers.org.uk/SUAD for more information