Today, former Ross County F.C. (and other Scottish and Dutch clubs) manager Jimmy Calderwood, 62, announced that he was diagnosed with early onset dementia almost two years ago. He went public with this information to both increase public awareness of the disease and in the hope that it might prompt others to seek help if they suspect that they our a loved one might be suffering from this condition.
Calderwood’s tenure at Ross County was brief- February through May of 2011- but don’t let that take away from its importance. Following the departure of manager Derek Adams to join Hibernian in November, the club appointed Willie McStay, who failed to win a single match in nine and was subsequently sacked, leaving County’s status as a First Division club in jeopardy. Calderwood stepped in and guided the club to safety with 27 points from their final 17 matches- winning the Challenge Cup along the way- which allowed them to remain in the First Division and and paving the way for Derek Adams to return- his time as an assistant at Hibernian had not gone well- and to subsequently guide the club into the Scottish top flight. I suspect that none of those good things would have happened if the club had been relegated to the Second Division at the end of the season and Jimmy Calderwood gets the credit for making sure that didn’t happen.
I wish Jimmy and his family all of the best and I hope that those in his football family will rally around him in his time of need, he’s one of the good ones.