NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 3:26 PM
Frank Gifford, who died in August, was diagnosed with CTE, which is linked to multiple concussions and brain injuries.
Count Hall of Famer Frank Gifford as among the first of the NFL players afflicted with lasting brain injuries.
The New York Giants star was diagnosed after his August death with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the disease linked to multiple concussions and head trauma, the Gifford family announced Wednesday.
Wife Kathie Lee and other relatives, after much consideration, donated his brain for testing following the 12-year NFL veteran’s death at age 84.
Gifford “experienced first-hand” the cognitive and behavioral symptoms linked to the CTE, a family statement said without providing details of his ailments.
Gifford, who retired in 1964, famously missed an entire season after a savage hit from Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik left him unconscious on the field in 1960.
“Our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition,” said the five-paragraph statement.
Yet he transitioned smoothly from the field to the broadcast booth, becoming a regular calling “Monday Night Football” with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith.
The latest figures released by researchers into the disease indicated that 87 of the 91 former NFL players tested post-mortem suffered from CTE.
“We as a family made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury,” the Gifford family statement said.