Former Workington Reds manager Tommy Cassidy is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The ex-Borough Park boss and Northern Ireland World Cup star's condition has become "progressively worse".

Cassidy's wife Rosemary has given an interview to the Belfast Telegraph in which the couple have bravely gone public about Tommy's condition in a bid to raise awareness.

She said he was diagnosed with the illness in 2017 and 70-year-old Tommy now has a "very short memory span".

Cassidy is one of the most successful managers in Reds' history, leading the west Cumbrian club to two promotions.

He was in charge from 2001 to 2007 and led Workington to the Conference North.

The Belfast Telegraph paid tribute to the Cassidys' courage in speaking out, saying they wished to "put a face to the statistics, and to see what aid is available to patients".

The former Newcastle United star, who is based in the north east, is the latest player of his generation to be diagnosed with the degenerative disease.

A series of cases involving former players has led to calls for football to do more to investigate links between heading balls and dementia.

In a comment piece, The Belfast Telegraph added: "Watching the mental decline of a footballer like Tommy, who made friends wherever he went, is sad in the extreme for those who love him. As Rosemary says, few know the impact of the disease unless they have witnessed it.

"Hopefully Tommy's story, added to those of other well-known professional footballers, will make the game's authorities examine if enough is being done to safeguard the long-term mental health of players."

Cassidy was famously room-mate of the great George Best during his Northern Ireland international career.

He won 24 caps and played in the 1982 World Cup.

He also played for Burnley, Glentoran and Greek club APOEL.

His management career, meanwhile, saw spells with APOEL, Gateshead, Glentoran, Ards, Sligo Rovers, Newcastle Blue Star, Whitby and Blyth Spartans.

Cassidy also had a spell as match summariser on Carlisle United games for BBC Radio Cumbria alongside commentator James Phillips.