FORMER world champion boxer Ken Buchanan is reportedly battling alcohol addiction in hospital.
Buchanan, 69, is said to have been admitted to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital after being found slumped on a bench in a park.
And a friend of the boxing legend today said he fears Buchanan may never leave hospital.
“He’s under eight stones, which is around two less than what his fighting weight was,” said the friend.
“He spends most of his time in bed, he’s struggling to eat and is a shadow of his former self.
“He’s on some pretty strong medication. It’s hard to see him ever getting home.”
Buchanan’s son Raymond told a tabloid newspaper that his dad was also suffering memory loss.
“It is so sad thinking of him in that state.
“He achieved so much in his career and is worth so much more than that.
“I’m very worried and hope he can recover.
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“He has obviously had his issues with alcohol, which he has spoken publicly about before.
“But he was doing OK and was training young boxers in the gym. Unfortunately it’s now come to this. My heart is with him.”
Police and paramedics were called to Keddie Park in Leith on August 29, after Buchanan was found ‘in a drunken stupor’. He was taken to accident and emergency before being transferred to a unit dealing with alcohol addiction.
It was the third time in a month that medics had to treat the former lightweight champion who won two world titles in the 1970s.
His nephew Scott, who lives in Canada, flew over in October to see him, and said: “He looked OK. He has some memory issues. Who knows where he is going to go from here?”
Raymond added: “It’s fair to say we’ve had our ups and downs. Hopefully we can now fix things so at least something good might come out of what has happened.
“I feel sorry that he is in this situation and my door is always open to him. He’s still my dad and a hero to me.”
In 2009, Buchanan spoke of his alcohol struggle, adding that he had tried Alcoholics Anonymous but ‘couldn’t take it’.
Buchanan, who was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000, retired from the ring in 1982, and lives with his long-term partner Carol-Ann Wilkie.
Earlier this year, Ms Wilkie confiscated his Hall of Fame ring over fears he would lose it in the pub.
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