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Former Cardiff defender Keith Pontin dies after dementia battle

Cardiff City corner flag
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Former Cardiff and Wales defender Keith Pontin has died aged 64.

Pontin, who made his Bluebirds debut on the opening day of the 1976/77 season and won two senior caps for his country in 1980, was diagnosed with dementia when he was 59.

Cardiff posted on Twitter on Sunday afternoon: “It’s with great sadness that the club has learned of the passing of former Bluebird, Keith Pontin.

“Keith made close to 200 City appearances between 1976 & 1983, earning two @FAWales caps.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Keith’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Pontin’s family were convinced that his condition was linked to his playing career.

In an interview with the BBC in 2018, his wife Janet said: “I think maybe in those days the impact wasn’t known. A lot of players in those days gave their lives to their clubs and nobody would have anticipated that this could be the impact years later.”

Research published last year found former footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die of a neurodegenerative disorder than members of the general population.