Former Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones said “my world is falling apart” when he revealed he was diagnosed with dementia aged just 41.
The former Britain Lions flanker revealed the devastating impact the diagnosis has had on him and his family.
And the three-time Grand Slam winner would have done that too CHANGED his career if it meant avoiding dangers that may have caused his condition.
England world champion Steve Thompson, 43, also suffers from early-onset dementia and is among eight ex-stars to sue World Rugby.
Now Jones claims the sport is going “headfirst into a catastrophic situation with my eyes closed” amid fears of head trauma from severe and repetitive impacts.
The ex-Ospreys hero told The Times he went from being a confident “superhero” to “really scared” after noticing that “some of my cognitive functions… and my short-term memory weren’t great.”
He said: “I feel like my world is falling apart.
“It scares me because I don’t know if we’re sitting here in two years and these episodes are a week long, two week long, or permanent.
“And I’m really scared because I have three kids and three stepkids and I want to be an amazing dad.
“I’ve lived like a superhero for 15 years of my life and I’m not. I don’t know what the future will bring.”
Jones suffered from depression when his family noticed changes in his condition.
And as a top athlete, he feels the added frustration of not being able to “train” out of his condition – as he could when in poor form or after an injury.
He said: “I’m not able to play like I could. And I just want to live a happy, healthy, normal life.
“I feel like that has been taken away from me and there is nothing I can do.
“I can’t train harder, I can’t referee, I don’t know the rules of the game anymore.”
Reflecting on his success at center and his dangers, he added: “I have to live this dream.
“Until Warby I captained Wales more times than anyone [Sam Warburton] came and I wouldn’t switch.
“Actually, based on my experience, I would change it now. But for now it was amazing.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5796493/ryan-jones-dementia-wales-rugby-legend/ ‘My world is falling apart’ – Ex-Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones reveals heartbreaking diagnosis of dementia aged just 41