The 69-year-old said “battling is second nature” after revealing the condition with a statement to supporters via Liverpool’s website. He spent 12 years at Anfield as a player after being signed by Bob Paisley.
Four league titles, three European Cups and one UEFA Cup later beside Greme Souness in the Reds midfield, he moved to Newcastle where he would also take his first steps in coaching before a dug-out role at Celtic assisting John Barnes. He later returned to Newcastle with former team-mate Souness and also held coaching positions at Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City.
“I’ve got to get on with it and I will. It’s the way I’ve been brought up. Nothing has come to me easily,” he said. “I’m not frightened of taking it on and also, as we’ve seen, there are a lot of former players in a worse state than me.
“Battling is second nature. The worst thing was, until my condition was diagnosed you don’t know what’s going on. The number of ex-players being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s is frightening.”
McDermott is in the early stages of Lewy Body dementia. The family of Scotland international Gordon McQueen revealed the former Manchester United defender was suffering vasular dementia earlier this year while last week Denis Law’s illness was also revealed. The record scorer for Scotland believes heading heavy footballs throughout his career contributed to the condition.