Ian Adams

Leeds Utd team doctor Ian Adams in 1976
Leeds Utd team doctor Ian Adams in 1976
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IAN Adams, who was team doctor to Leeds United for 15 years during their glory days under manager Don Revie, has died aged 82.

He was also the first consultant in accident and emergency medicine at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, a post he held for 20 years.

Dr Adams became part of the football club’s medical team in the early 1960s and remained in the role until 1976. He gained national prominence in 1971 when he discovered that West Bromwich Albion star Asa Hartford had a suspected hole in the heart, and United called off a big money transfer for the midfielder.

Hartford later confounded the decision by going on to play for a number of leading clubs, and made 15 appearances at the age of 40 while coach/manager of Boston United.

Dr Adams was also seen by millions of television viewers when he went to help Mick Jones after the Leeds striker was injured during the closing stages of the 1972 FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Ian Duthie Adams was born in Leeds, the eldest of three sons of parents who lived in a GP surgery house in Beeston.

At the start of the Second World War, he was evacuated to Grasmere, in the Lake District, returning after two years. In 1944, he went to Mill Hill School in London before again being evacuated, this time to St Bees in Cumbria.

He went on study at Leeds Medical School from where he qualified in 1956, and then worked as a houseman at Leeds General Infirmary.

From 1957 he did two years’ National Service, passing the Airborne Selection course to become a captain in the Second Battalion, Parachute Regiment, serving in Cyprus and Jordan.

Dr Adams joined his father in General Practice in Beeston in 1959 where he spent 13 years, and it was during this time that he became medical officer at Leeds United.

He went on to perform the same role for international athletics, gymnastics and karate as well as for Test match cricket at Headingley and Leeds Rugby League, and gained a national and international reputation in the field of sports medicine.

He was elected chairman of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, as well as to the executive of the European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations.

He retired in 1994, at 62, and in the same year completed a marathon in three hours and 12 minutes.

Dr Adams, who lived in Ilkley for the last 14 years, is survived by his children Jane and Alistair and three grandchildren. His wife June, to whom he was married for 55 years, predeceased him last October.