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I feared worst before having heart surgery, reveals Goldson

 

Scary time: Connor Goldson has a family history of heart issues
Scary time: Connor Goldson has a family history of heart issues

By Andy Newport

Rangers defender Connor Goldson has spoken for the first time about how his family history of heart troubles made him fear the worst after being told he needed surgery.

The Ibrox ace has previously opened up on the terror he faced when told by doctors he would be risking death if he stepped back onto a football pitch without having a faulty aorta operated on following a routine health check.

But the 26-year-old has now confessed the warning he required a potentially life-saving operation while on the books at former club Brighton back in February 2017 did not come as a total shock because of his family history of heart problems.

Goldson's father also underwent heart surgery as a young man while his grandfather lost his life to a heart attack.

The centre-back had to be persuaded to go for the check-up that uncovered his own problem by Seagulls medical staff but once identified, he made a full recovery following surgery.

Now having chalked up 49 appearances for his new club this season with no ill-effects, Goldson hopes to encourage others to confront their own health risks after agreeing to front a campaign launched by charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

"I was always quite scared of going for the test," said the Englishman ahead of tomorrow's clash with Hearts. "My dad had heart surgery when he was around 35. Also, his dad died of a heart attack so I was always wary when these tests came along.

"I remember actually telling the physio at Brighton I didn't want to go for the appointment because I wanted to go home and play PlayStation with the lads.

"It was a routine check-up which we were made to go for every two years by Brighton. The physio told me it would cost the club £1,500 so I went. A few days later I got the news that I required an op which was a shock.

"It's not the type of thing you want to hear. I was 24, flying high in the Championship at Brighton. How did I feel? Horrible. Scared.

"I had to wait seven weeks for the operation and in that time I was told not to do anything. I wasn't allowed in the gym, I wasn't allowed to run.

"I had what looked like a swollen aorta but they didn't know if that was swollen or had always been like that. After the op, I was playing within eight weeks.

"I'm still similar to how I was before my op. I'm still a sore loser. But this and having a child has put a lot into perspective.

"If I go home after a loss, it still hurts. But when I see my boy laughing it takes a lot of the pressure away.

"When you reflect on what you've been though, you can see how far you've come."

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