A charity collection in honour of Norwich City football legend Duncan Forbes, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, raised £6,500 to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Fans gave generously at the Carrow Road match, between Norwich City and Stoke City, on Saturday 8 March, to help the charity reach its goal of defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Father of two and grandfather of six, Duncan Forbes was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, aged 65. His wife Janette cared for him at home until last August when his needs became too great for her to manage. Born in Edinburgh, Duncan dedicated 33 years of his career to the Premier League club in Norfolk. The central defender joined Norwich City in 1968 from Colchester United and made 357 appearances, scoring 12 times and never once being sent off. After retiring from first-team football he took charge of organising trips to away matches before becoming chief scout for the club. He retired in 2001.
Club spokesman Joe Ferrari said:
“Duncan Forbes is a Norwich City legend who has given over three decades of dedicated service to the Canaries on and off the pitch.
“He has always been such a larger than life character and to hear of the battle against Alzheimer’s that he and his family are going through now is very sad for everyone connected with the club.
“We were delighted to hold ‘Duncan’s Day’ on Saturday [8 March] when we entertained Stoke City for a Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road.
“It’s fantastic to know that the money raised at the charity collection will help the Forbes’ family’s chosen charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK, with its ongoing work to find the preventions and new treatments so desperately needed to beat this debilitating disease. Proceeds from sales of our match day programme will also help ensure Duncan continues to receive the care he needs – we are still counting the money but will announce this in the near future.”
Duncan’s wife Janette said:
“Duncan’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has had a huge impact on us as a family – it’s terribly sad seeing him slowly disappear in front of our eyes. I’m very touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of Norwich City Football Club and everyone who attended the match – their contribution towards Duncan’s care is greatly appreciated. And I know the £6,500 also raised through the charity collection will make a big difference to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital work.
“I cared for Duncan at home up until last July. Then I had to face the reality that I couldn’t cope any more. It had become a 24-hour job as he needed help washing, dressing – with everything. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that he’s now in care but it’s a lovely home and he’s content. I visit him practically every day.
“There was a time when Duncan could memorise the results of every English football league match after looking at them just once. But now he doesn’t always recognise his own sons. I would dearly love to see new treatments found to give hope to other people like Duncan and their families. It’s so good to know that Alzheimer’s Research UK is working hard to achieve this.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:
“Raising £6,500 is a brilliant result! We are so grateful to Norwich City Football Club and everyone who attended the match and gave a donation. This is enough to pay for 325 hours of world-class research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 12,000 people in Norfolk. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health yet funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on public donations to fund our crucial work.