UEFA and the European football family are mourning the loss of the second vice-chairman of the UEFA Medical Committee, Professor Stewart Hillis OBE, who has passed away at the age of 70.
Professor Hillis, Scottish Football Association (SFA) medical advisor and emeritus professor of cardiovascular and exercise medicine at Glasgow University, was involved with the Scottish association for almost 40 years, and his medical expertise was available for an unprecedented 228 senior national-team matches in that time.
He was also a long-standing servant of both UEFA and the world football body FIFA. Professor Hillis became a member of the UEFA Medical Committee in 1986, and served as a vice-chairman of the committee from 1992 to 2006. He was third vice-chairman from 2007, and second vice-chairman from 2009, and was greatly respected for his contributions not only to the committee's wide-ranging activities, but also to the continued impressive development of football's medical sector.
Professor Hillis was integral to the creation of the sports medicine centre at Scotland's national stadium, Hampden Park in Glasgow, and he campaigned successfully for the introduction of anti-doping and heart screening into Scottish football. His long association with the national teams began in 1976, when he became the Under-21 team doctor, and he was elevated to the senior team immediately after the FIFA World Cup in Spain in 1982. Professor Hillis worked with eight Scottish national-team coaches.
UEFA Medical Committee chairman Dr Michel D'Hooghe paid tribute to Professor Hillis. "The UEFA Medical Committee has lost not only an international expert in the field of sports cardiology, as well as a respected colleague in our common care for the health of our football players – but also, above all, a personal friend, a committed person with considerable human qualities, who worked together with all of us in a spirit of great medical competence, collegiality and solidarity. We will not forget him."
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