Former England defender Sansom diagnosed with dementia

Sixty-two year old Kenny Sansom has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Kenny Sansom made 86 appearances for England between 1979 and 1988. - GETTY IMAGES

Former Arsenal, Crystal Palace and England defender Kenny Sansom, who played against Diego Maradona’s Argentina in the 1986 ‘Hand of God’ World Cup quarterfinal, has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

The 62-year-old, who made 86 appearances for England between 1979 and 1988, was admitted to hospital in May with an unspecified illness.

'Early stages'

“Kenny is out of hospital and settled in new accommodation, but has been diagnosed with WernickeKorsakoff syndrome, a type of brain disorder and form of dementia,” Palace said in a statement.

“He is in the early stages of the illness, which is reversible and treatable. With the support of his family and carers, he is on the first steps of his road to recovery.”

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Sansom began his professional career with Palace in 1975 before joining Arsenal, where he made 314 appearances. He was part of England’s World Cup squad in 1986 and featured in the line-up when Maradona used his hand to score a goal en route to a 2-1 victory.

The issue of dementia in the professional game has come to the fore following the death of England’s Nobby Stiles.

Stiles and many of his 1966 World Cup-winning team-mates had been diagnosed with dementia before their deaths while Manchester United great Bobby Charlton also disclosed his diagnosis recently.

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