Jimmy Calderwood: Ex-football boss on life with dementia

The former Aberdeen and Dunfermline manager was diagnosed with the condition in 2015.

Calderwood: Living with dementia. <strong>SNS Group</strong>
Calderwood: Living with dementia. SNS Group

Former Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood has said looking back on his football career helps him stay positive as he lives with dementia.

Calderwood, who also managed Dunfermline, Kilmarnock, Ross County and several Dutch clubs, was diagnosed with the condition in 2015.

However, the 64-year-old Glaswegian is remaining as positive as possible in the circumstances as he looks back on his life in football with no regrets.

He told STV News: “That’s life isn’t it? I’m not going to start moaning about it, you just try and do as good as you can, keep hold of everything you have got and try to be helpful.

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“I have always been a kind of positive person, obviously that comes with football.

“I feel like I have had a really good life, I know that (my head) is still there but I don’t how long for.

“I had a good career, I wish it was longer don’t get me wrong, and I have good people round about me.”

During a five-year spell with Dunfermline, Calderwood took the Fife club back into the top-flight at the first opportunity and kept them there for four consecutive seasons.

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He also guided them to their first Scottish Cup final in nearly 40 years and secured their highest ever Premier League finish of fourth in 2004.

The Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic in the 2003/04 season meant a return to European football for Dunfermline for the first time in 35 years.

Calderwood then Aberdeen to the last 32 of European competition for the first time since 1986, drawing 2-2 with Bayern Munich at Pittodrie.

With research into potential links between dementia and football ongoing, Calderwood believes the football authorities are doing all the can to get to the bottom of the issue.

He said: “We will just have to wait to see how that goes, but you cringe sometimes when you look at some of the things, you think ‘Jesus’ you know? With the heading balls and this kind of stuff.

“What can they do? Their hands are tied I think, we have played football at a reasonable level and how many times would you head the ball?

“I wouldn’t know how many headers I have had and I wasn’t really a heading man if you know what I mean?

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“I have good people round about me, very very good people, and I think that helps you an awful lot.”


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