British hockey great Imran Sherwani says he holds “no fears about the future” after he revealed on Wednesday that he has Alzheimer’s disease.
Sherwani, 59, who scored two goals in the 1988 Olympic final, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in December 2019.
“I have gone from fighting the disease to accepting it, and that has made every day easier to live through,” said Sherwani. “Every day of my life, I am thankful for having wonderful people around me, especially my lovely wife.
“I do not have fears about the future because I have always been very positive. I have had a brilliant life, I have achieved a lot in my career and with my family, so I can’t complain.”
Imran, famously ‘a newsagent from Stoke’ when he won Seoul gold, and his family first began to notice problems in 2014 when he had difficulties with his memory and had to retire from his director of hockey role at a Staffordshire school.
Fellow Seoul Olympian Steve Batchelor has now launched a team for this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK in his team-mate’s honour.
The Marathon team, called ‘Going for Gold’, includes Imran’s son Zac. Steve said: “All of the 1988 Olympics team are still very close but, as we were both forwards, I have a particularly close relationship with Imran.
“When I heard he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was a shock. At the time I didn’t know a lot about Alzheimer’s. I thought of it as something older people get. I didn’t realise it could affect someone as young as Imran.”
Sherwani added: “I’m so thankful to Steve and the team for raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. I’m looking forward to hopefully cheering everyone on at the marathon.
“I hope that dementia research can help improve diagnosis so other people won’t have to go through the lengthy and difficult process I went through, and that treatments can be found to help people in the future.”
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said she was “so grateful” to Imran for speaking out about his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.
Donations can be made to the Going for Gold team at https://justgiving.com/team/GoingforGold-LondonMarathon-ARUK
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