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Former Wolves defender McNamara ‘awake and talking’ after collapse

Former Wolves and Celtic defender Jackie McNamara is ‘awake and talking’ after collapsing near his home in York with a suspected bleed to the brain on Saturday night.

The 46-year-old ex-full back is being treated at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who say he’s in a ‘critical but stable condition’ in intensive care.

A statement from the hospital read: “We can confirm Jackie McNamara was admitted to Hull Royal Infirmary on Sunday night and is currently being cared for in our intensive care Unit. He remains in a critical but stable condition.

We are supporting both Jackie and his family, who request their privacy to be respected at this time.”

McNamara’s close friend Darren Jackson said his former team-mate is ‘in and out of consciousness’ and that he will be going to visit him.

Speaking about McNamara on PLZ Soccer, he said: “The positive news is he’s had the operation and he was in an induced coma but we’ve just heard, I spoke to Tommy Johnson who was at the hospital today, he’s up speaking.

He’s in and out of consciousness. They were thinking seven to 10 days he was going to be in an induced coma but he’s speaking today which is very positive.”

McNamara returned to his first club Dunfermline Athletic as a consultant last year.

The defender, who won 33 Scotland caps, also played for Aberdeen, Falkirk and Partick Thistle, who he also managed, along with Dundee United and York City.

McNamara won four league titles during a 10-year spell with Celtic before joining Wolves on a two-year contract in 2005, signed by Glenn Hoddle on a free transfer.

He damaged his cruciate knee ligament in September 2005 in only his sixth appearance for Wolves, but returned in the penultimate game of that season, a 1-0 home win against Brighton, before starting the final match of 2006-07, a 2-1 victory over Norwich as the team finished seventh in the Championship.

The following season – the first under Mick McCarthy – McNamara played a more prominent role as Wolves finished fifth and reached the play-offs. He made a total of 34 appearances for the club before returning north of the border with a move to Aberdeen in the summer of 2007.

Former team-mates, clubs and the wider Scottish football community have been sending messages of support as he fights for his life.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a former Hoops team-mate, said: “I am lost for words, I don’t know what to say.

I spoke to him on Tuesday so I am devastated by the news and hoping he pulls through.

People have been keeping me abreast of things. He is a strong guy, a great guy and a fit boy for someone of his age.

He has been fit all his life so I am hoping and praying he comes through OK.”

Celtic great Henrik Larsson, another one-time team-mate, posted on Instagram: “He needs all the love we can give him. Jackie keep on fighting.”