Former Scotland defender Gordon McQueen has passed away aged 70.

The family of the former Manchester United and Leeds defender announced the sad news on Thursday afternoon.

McQueen - inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2012 - had bravely battled vascular dementia for the past two years.

A statement issued by the McQueen family reads: "It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of Gordon McQueen, 70, who died at home in the early morning today, leaving behind his wife Yvonne, daughters Hayley and Anna, son Eddie and his beloved grandchildren Rudi, Etta and Ayla. 

"We hope that, as well as creating many great football memories, he’ll be remembered most for his character. Our house was always full of friends, family and football, just as it was in his last few months as he fought so bravely in what became a very cruel battle against dementia. 

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"The disease may have taken him too soon but he definitely lived life to the full, the ultimate entertainer, the absolute heart and soul of every occasion, the most fun dad anyone could wish for. 

"Huge thanks go to the wonderful staff at Herriot Hospice Homecare for their outstanding care, the utterly incredible Marie Curie team, who were there at the end with Gordon’s wife and daughters, and Head for Change, for the emotional support and respite care.

"Also to our wonderful friends and family, who rallied around at the worst of times,  going above and beyond. For that, we are so very grateful."

Gordon's daughter Hayley McQueen - a presented on Sky Sports - shared an emotional tribute on Instagram that read:  "Dad 💔 Beyond heartbroken to announce we have lost our wonderful dad, I thought when the day came I’d be prepared & feel a sense of relief that he is no longer trying to battle this awful disease but I just feel numb.

"I’m hoping we can now remember him for the man he was & not the man he became this last few years. We thought we were losing him when home palliative care came to look after him back in December, we were distraught but being the big strong man that he is, battled on for many months.

"Whilst it’s been unimaginably sad & at times unbearable for my mum who has cared for him at home we’ve had precious time with him whilst this cruel disease & all that comes with it completely took over, he certainly put up a fight. One comfort was he knew all his friends & family right till the end but to watch someone slowly die I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

"I now want to remember my Dad for the man he was, the ultimate entertainer, the life and soul of every occasion, the greatest storyteller who certainly lived life to the full, he made sure everything was one big adventure & full of so much fun for me Anna & Eddie. His career gave me one too & I will be forever grateful for him passing on so much of who is and what he loved. Life really won’t be the same without him but he is now at peace.

"(A big thanks to my employers sky sports who have been incredible throughout this & for all the time off & support they’ve given me this last year or so) #ripdad"

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McQueen was capped 30 times for Scotland - scoring five goals - and enjoyed an illustrious career at club level.

The defender, born in Kilburnie in 1952, began as a goalkeeper as a schoolboy before being moving to centre-back.

He was signed by St Mirren at 18 years old and was quickly snapped up by Leeds who paid £30,000 for McQueen in 1972.

He would go on to play 140 times for the club where he won the First Division title in 1973/74 and earned a European Cup runners-up medal the next season.

McQueen would then make a £500,000 move to Manchetser United where he would remain for seven years.

In that time, he won the FA Cup and FA Charity Shield, playing 184 times in total for the Old Trafford side.

An outpouring of support followed the news of McQueen's passing with Manchester United flying flags at half-mast as a mark of respect and the football world united in mourning.

A statement read: "Manchester United is deeply saddened to announce that our former defender Gordon McQueen has passed away.

"Gordon, who was a huge fans' favourite during his time with the club between 1978 and 1985, has died at the age of 70, after being diagnosed with dementia.

"He joined the Reds from Leeds United and was part of our 1983 FA Cup-winning team, when Brighton & Hove Albion were defeated in a replay at Wembley.

"When leaving in 1985, the ex-Scotland international had amassed 229 appearances for the club, scoring 26 goals from centre-half.

"His coaching spell took him to Middlesbrough, where he worked under close pal and former Old Trafford team-mate Bryan Robson.

"Flags are flying at half-mast at Old Trafford as a mark of respect to Gordon and in tribute to his service, on and off the field.

"Everybody at United would like to send our sincere condolences to our former colleague Hayley and the rest of the McQueen family."

Scottish FA president Mike Mulraney commented: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gordon McQueen, one of the finest defenders Scotland has ever produced.

“During a stellar career, he lifted major trophies with Leeds and Manchester United, while his goal against England in 1977 will forever be etched in the hearts of Scotland supporters.

“His endeavours at the heart of Scotland’s defence were rightfully recognised in 2012, as he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

“A popular figure within the game, he will be remembered fondly. The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with his family at this difficult time.”

A Leeds United club statement read: "Rest in peace.

"Leeds United are saddened to learn of the passing of former defender Gordon McQueen at the age of 70, following a battle with dementia.

"Born in Kilbirnie, Scotland, on 26th June 1952, McQueen was signed by St Mirren as an 18-year-old in 1970, before joining the Whites in 1972, where he would go on to make 172 appearances.

"In his first season at Elland Road he helped Leeds reach, and played in the 1973 European Cup Winners’ Cup final against AC Milan.

"During the 1973/74 campaign, McQueen formed a key partnership in the heart of the Leeds defence with Norman Hunter and the Whites went on a 29-game unbeaten run in the First Division at the start of the campaign.  He made a total of 36 league appearances as Don Revie’s side were crowned champions of England for the second time in the club’s history.

"At the end of the season, he won the first of his 30 caps for Scotland, making his international debut against Belgium.

"During the 1974/75 campaign, McQueen played a crucial role in helping Leeds reach the 1975 European Cup final, scoring three goals on route, but was unavailable for the final in Paris against Bayern Munich, after being sent-off against FC Barcelona in the semi-final second-leg at the Nou Camp.

"He was twice named the club’s Player of the Season in 1974/75 and 1977/78, along with twice being selected in the PFA Team of the Year in 1974/75 and 1977/78.

"In 1978, he went on to join rivals Manchester United, with whom he won the FA Cup and Charity Shield in 1983.

"McQueen returned to Elland Road in 2019, with many former players, staff and legends as part of the club’s centenary celebrations and was also given the Freedom of the City of Leeds, along with the rest of the Leeds United team from 1967-1974.

"The thoughts of everyone at Leeds United are with Gordon’s wife Yvonne, daughters Hayley and Anna, son Eddie and grandchildren Rudi, Etta and Ayla, along with his friends at this time."

St Mirren added: "St Mirren FC is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Gordon McQueen.

"Gordon played 77 times for Saints between 1970-72 and would later return to Love Street for a spell during his coaching career.

"Our deepest condolences are with Gordon’s loved ones at this sad time."

And McQueen's former club Airdrie - where he served as manager for a year - released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Airdrieonians manager Gordon McQueen.

"Gordon, a legendary defender for Manchester United and Scotland, managed the Diamonds from 1987-1988.

"Our condolences go to Gordon's family and friends at this sad time."