Graeme Souness backs call for more heart research funding

Graeme Souness. Picture: Neil Doig
Graeme Souness. Picture: Neil Doig
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Scotland football legend Graeme Souness, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease in his late thirties, is calling for more heart research funding.

The former Rangers manager, who suffered a heart attack in 2015, made the call as he visited the cardiac centre at St Thomas’ Hospital in London today.

Souness, who became a British Heart Foundation ambassador last year, was appearing with ex-England cricketer James Taylor, who was forced to retire when he was diagnosed with the inherited heart condition - arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

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The former sports stars met with researchers and heart patients, with Souness backing Taylor’s view that research is helping to save lives but much more needs to be done.

He said: “James’s bravery since his diagnosis has been truly inspirational. I’m delighted to welcome him to the British Heart Foundation as our newest ambassador.

“I never thought I’d be the type of person to get heart disease but it can happen to anyone.

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“Heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death in the UK, and someone suffers a heart attack every three minutes.

“Research, funded by the British Heart Foundation, is helping to save and improve lives but we urgently need more support.”

Around 680,000 Scots are currently battling coronary heart disease.

James Taylor said: “I’m delighted to become a British Heart Foundation ambassador.

“Before I was diagnosed with an inherited heart condition last year I had no idea I was at risk of suffering a deadly cardiac arrest. Fortunately, I was detected and treated early and my life was saved.

“Sadly, many people aren’t so lucky and 12 young people die every week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions.

“We urgently need to fund more research to find new and improved ways to detect, prevent and treat heart conditions.”