OLYMPIC gold medalist and former Stourport Hockey Club player Imran Sherwani has revealed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019.

A key part of the Great Britain hockey squad which claimed honours at the 1988 Games in Seoul, the 59-year-old first noticed symptoms in 2014 before they developed over time.

As his symptoms worsened, he struggled in his job as director of hockey and a teacher at a school and eventually had to retire.

Mr Sherwani said: “At first my mood changed and I became withdrawn. I wanted to be on my own and not talk to people. I started to struggle with tasks that ordinarily I would be quick to do, such as DIY. I also had difficulties in my job, such as forgetting pupils’ names, which was very frustrating.

“Eventually it got to the point that I was on the edge of breaking down because the situation had put such a strain on me, so I went to the doctor. That led to a three-year journey of tests and brain scans until I was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“I have gone from fighting the disease to accepting it, and that has made every day easier to live through. 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.”

Former GB team-mate Steve Batchelor has in response set up a team – ‘Going for Gold’ – to take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK in honour of his fellow Olympic gold medallists.

Batchelor, who will be joined in ‘Going for Gold’ by Sherwani’s son Zac, 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. We are good friends and our families are close as well. When I heard he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was a shock.

“You feel helpless when someone you are close to is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so putting together this team for the London Marathon is something positive I can do to help.”

Back in 2012, Stourport Hockey Club's celebrated their rich history by holding a special tournament. Many of the club’s best and brightest. including Mr Sherwani, descended on the town to celebrate stalwart David Knott’s 50th birthday.