Kinnear's family say 'career killed him' after autopsy reveals brain condition

An autopsy revealed Kinnear suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) - a brain condition thought to be linked to repeated head injuries.

An autopsy on the brain of footballing legend Joe Kinnear has revealed he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), according to his family.

The condition is caused by repeated blows to the head.

His daughter Russ Doffman believes there is now no doubt that the sport her father loved was responsible for his death: “Having had time to think about it, we just get angry again because you feel like you know his career has killed him, and it’s hard because he could still be with us. He could still be Joe and he could still be with us.”

Joe Kinnear, pictured in 1967 while a Tottenham Hotspur defender. / Credit: PA

ITV News has seen the critical part of the report which, while accepting CTE dementia is still under investigation, concludes: “There is widespread recognition of ‘typical’ features dating back to earliest descriptions in former boxers.

“Specifically, these include a requirement for high past exposure to repetitive head impacts.

“Mr Kinnear’s long history of participation in football as a defender, with clinical presentation characterised by striking behavioural change followed by progressive cognitive decline is entirely consistent with the finding of extensive CTE-NC pathology at autopsy and an integrated diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”

Doffman says agreeing to donate her father’s brain for research was not a difficult decision and she believes it was a move that her father would have supported.

She said: ”We discussed it quite early and I knew mum would want to because we’re both very into medical research and if it could help, that’s really where we’re at. She didn’t even hesitate.

“She said absolutely and I think Joe would have wanted it as well. If it helps his profession and his industry, I think he definitely would have wanted that too.”

Joe Kinnear, pictured in 1967 while a Tottenham Hotspur defender. / Credit: PA

The Kinnear family is among a group representing dozens of former players who are suing The Football Association (FA) and others for failing to protect players from repeated head injuries.

Kinnear is probably the best known having played nearly 200 games for Tottenham Hotspur, 26 times for the Republic of Ireland and managed many top teams including Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United.

Doffman says the family’s motivation is to protect current players and prevent others from going through what she has.

While she accepts it’s unrealistic, she would like heading in football to be banned: ”I’d rather have no heading and to have him here and all the other families to have the family members still with them enjoying the latter parts of their life.

“I know football-mad people say that heading is heading a massive part of it, but it’s killing people. It’s as serious as that.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code