Aberdeen legend Dougie Bell has revealed he recently underwent heart bypass surgery.
Dons hero Bell, 64, went to hospital believing he had a gastric problem – only to receive the shock news he was actually suffering a heart attack.
Bell admits it was a “scary” time as he had stents inserted before a four-month wait for his bypass surgery.
Reds icon Bell is now on the road to recovery.
And he has thanked Dons fans for their messages of support following the heart attack.
Bell said: “I had heart bypass surgery five weeks ago and every day I feel a bit stronger.
“I was in hospital for a week, but a couple of days after the operation I was up walking about.
“As soon as you get up they put you on a programme.
“I’m doing quite well now.
“I go for walks each day.
“It is still a wee bit sore, but I’m feeling a lot better.”
‘I thought I had a gastric problem but they said I was having a heart attack’
Former Dons midfielder Bell suffered the heart attack just two weeks after he was at Pittodrie as part of the club’s European Cup Winners’ Cup 40th anniversary celebrations in May.
Bell missed the final victory over Real Madrid in Gothenburg in 1983 due to injury.
But he played a key role in the run to the final, and was superb in the 5-1 semi-final defeat of Belgian cub Waterschei at Pittodrie.
Unfortunately, Bell broke his ankle in the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic – just three weeks before Gothenburg.
Only the 11 players and five substitutes who were selected for the Dons in Gothenburg received winners’ medals on May 11 1983.
Bell finally received a European Cup Winners’ Cup medal from Uefa at the celebration of the Gothenburg Greats at Pittodrie on May 12 this year.
During the ceremony, the legendary team also received the Freedom of the City from Aberdeen City Council.
Bell said: “I never realised it was a heart attack.
“I went into the hospital as I thought I had a gastric problem.
“But they said: ‘You are having a heart attack.’
“They put stents in, but said it would be better if I also had a bypass.
“I had to wait four months for the bypass.
“It was scary at the time, but I’m on the mend now.
“My team-mates have been great and have been phoning me and texting me.
“Peter Weir (fellow Gothenburg Great) was in to the hospital to see me and has been round to my house a few times to visit.”
Messages of support from Reds fans
Bell was inducted into the Aberdeen FC Hall of Fame in November last year alongside Duncan Shearer, Russell Anderson, the late Davie Robb. and Frank McDougall, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
During his time with the Dons, Bell was part of three title-winning teams and also won two Scottish Cups and the European Super Cup.
Following the news of his heart attack in May, Aberdeen fans took to social media to offer messages of support for the club legend.
He said: “The Aberdeen supporters were great – it meant a lot to me.
“When I had the heart attack, I got so many messages.
“Aberdeen were the team I played for the longest and had the most success (with), so they are my team.”