Gabby Logan's heart screening plea as she remembers brother's sudden death at 15

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·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
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SWINDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: BBC Television Presener, Gabby Logan during the International Friendly between England Women and Spain Women at County Ground on April 9, 2019 in Swindon, England. (Photo by Molly Darlington - AMA/Getty Images)
Gabby Logan suggests heart screening for kids you play sport regularly would help other families avoid heartbreak like hers did. (AMA/Getty Images)

Gabby Logan thinks heart screenings for young people who play sport regularly could help prevent a lot of heartache for families, should an undetected condition be revealed.

The TV sport presenter was just 19 when her brother Daniel, 15, died suddenly while playing football with their dad Terry Yorath, the former professional Welsh footballer.

Doctors later discovered Daniel had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease which affects the heart's ability to pump blood around the body.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Gabby Logan with Premier League Trophy presenting at Brentford v Manchester City  during the Premier League match between Brentford  and  Manchester City at Brentford Community Stadium on December 29, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Gabby Logan with Premier League Trophy presenting during the Premier League match between Brentford and Manchester City at Brentford Community Stadium in December 2021. (CameraSport via Getty Images)

Speaking to BBC Wales Lives, Logan recalled, "He was playing football in my garden with my dad and he fell over and my dad thought he was just messing about and went over and rolled him over, and he basically died on the spot and had no previous indications whatsoever that there were any health problems at all with him."

Following in his Dad's footsteps, Daniel had been signed to play for Leeds United just before his death.

Speaking on when she found out the reason for her brother unexpectedly passing away, Logan said, "I couldn't get my head around the idea that it was his heart that had failed him because he was so fit, so strong, never ill.

"You know, it's not a barrier or a protection, to be sporty and fit, your heart can have an anomaly and it can have a genetic predisposition"

She added, "It's like a sledgehammer coming down and sending everybody off in different directions because it's such a catastrophic thing to happen and no warning, and everybody responds differently."

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Terry Yorath playing football with his son Daniel (handout/PA)
Terry Yorath playing football with his son Daniel, Gabby Logan's late brother. (handout/PA)

The 48-year-old said her parents' marriage didn't last after the sudden lost, which she said led to "fallout" on the rest of the family.

While Logan noted she isn't sure what the best age to start heart screening is, she feels like it would be beneficial to those who play sport regularly.

"It would be something that would help families to not have to go through what we've gone through", she said.

Her father, who formerly played for Leeds United and was the Wales football manager, and mother Christine Yorath have campaigned to raise awareness and money for children's heart charities over the years.

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Watch: Gabby Logan collects MBE from Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle

Logan has hosted shows covering some of the world's biggest sporting events, including the World Cup and the Olympics, while she is a former international rhythmic gymnast.

Last year, she collected an MBE from the Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle for services to sports broadcasting and for the promotion of women in sport.

She has two children, daughter Louis and son Reuben, both 16, with her husband Kenny Logan, the former Scottish rugby union player.

Read more: 'My husband died in front of me. Now I help others cope with grief'

Speaking movingly, at the end of her conversation about her brother, Logan said, "I read something the the other day: 'Grief is love that has nowhere to go.' And I think I've still got a lot of love for my brother and so, I probably still got a lot of grief as well."

The British Heart Foundation's helpline is 0300 330 3311 or its email is hearthelpline@bhf.org.uk and Child Bereavement UK's helpline is 0800 02 888 40.

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