Former Sheffield United midfielder Kevin McDonald facing kidney transplant after battling issues throughout his career

Kevin McDonald, the former Sheffield United midfielder, has revealed that he is set to undergo a kidney transplant next month after battling a chronic disease for his entire football career.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 9:13 am
Kevin McDonald in his United days: Stu Forster/Getty

The midfielder, now at Fulham, has battled kidney failure since a medical uncovered issues when he was 18 years old. Now 32, he has given up hopes of playing in the Premier League but hopes to resume his career further down the football pyramid after the transplant.

McDonald last played for Fulham last year, in the Championship, and revealed: "I’ve been fighting a chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, ever since I started playing football.

"I’ve had it my whole career and been under the orders of the doctors throughout my whole career.

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"I’ve had a lot of people asking why I am not playing or not going on loan.

"I’ve known I’ve needed a kidney transplant for nearly 12 years now. I’ve loved my whole career in football but at the same time, in the back of my mind, my health has always been my priority. Football is a game but we’re talking about life threatening diseases.

"I've got one kidney that doesn't work at all and one kidney that's about 10 per cent now. I've been playing with stage one, to now stage five kidney disease, which is chronic kidney disease, kidney failure."

McDonald played for United between 2011 and 2013, before leaving to join Wolverhampton Wanderers when United were still in League One.

His absence in the 2012 play-off final was a big factor in United failing to gain promotion back to the Championship, and he also has five caps for the Scotland national team.

"I want to go back and play, that is my aim,” added McDonald, who has been working in a coaching capacity with Fulham's U23s this season.

"I’m not going to go and play in the Premier League now. It is too fast for me... it probably always had been!

"The way my mind is now, I want it done, I want to get back to normal life. I take 10 tablets a day so I want to get back to normal life and hopefully it will soon be like that."