Gabby Logan 'realised she had to have 'purpose after brother's death'

Gabby Logan says her brother’s tragic death at 15 made her realise she had to have a ‘purpose’ and helped her career in sports have ‘dynamism’

  • The sports presenter, 47, revealed the tragic loss of her brother Daniel Yorath as a teenager made her realise she had to ‘have a purpose’  
  • Daniel collapsed and died on 25 May 1992, at the age of 15, as a result of a heart condition just before he was due to begin a football career with Leeds United
  • Speaking on the Three Little Words podcast, she explained that his death taught her how ‘powerful’ moments in life can be and that ‘you have to keep going’
  • Gabby has previously said her family was ‘shattered into a million pieces’ after Daniel keeled over and died while playing football with their dad 

Gabby Logan has revealed that the tragic loss of her brother as a teenager made her realise she had to ‘have a purpose’ and helped her career have ‘dynamism’.

The sports presenter’s younger sibling Daniel Yorath collapsed and died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in May 1992 when he was 15 and she was 19.

Reflecting on his death on the Three Little Words podcast, Gabby, 47, revealed the key moments in her past which have shaped her life.

Candid: Gabby Logan has revealed that the tragic loss of her brother as a teenager made her realise she had to ‘have a purpose’ in life (pictured in 2019)

She said: ‘A series of things have happened in my life. My brother dying, at a very young age, you know I was 19 he was 15. 

‘That was a moment where, you know, I saw how powerful that can be and how my parents both reacted very differently. And how you have to keep going you know, and if you stop, what are you going to do?’

The presenter and podcast hosts, John Bishop and Tony Pitts, then chatted about grief and mental health, discussing different ways of processing loss.

Gabby said: ‘I wouldn’t say anywhere that I really felt sticky for a long period of time.

Loss: The presenter’s brother Daniel Yorath died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in May 1992 when he was 15 and she was 19 (pictured together and with their sister Louise)

‘But I think I found the few years after my brother died and I was transitioning from being a student to going into the real world, career wise if you looked and put it all on a whiteboard, you think gosh that’s an amazing trajectory.

‘But I think personally I was at risk of probably being attracted to people who, whether it was in relationships or friendships, who were needing rescuing and I was trying to be the rescuer.

‘That was making me feel, like a failure, because I wasn’t rescuing.’ 

John agreed telling Gabby that she’s realised quicker than him that you can’t always be someone’s fixer. 

Family: She explained how Daniel’s death taught her to always keep going and how ‘powerful’ moments in life can be (pictured Gabby as a four-year-old in 1978 with her Coventry City Football Player father Terry Yorath, mother Christine, sister Louise and a one-year-old Daniel)

Elsewhere on the candid podcast, Gabby was asked if she realised that she’s a female pioneer in TV.

She said: ‘Oh wow no, you don’t sit down and think about it. The only thought process I would have, that would be skirt alongside that, would be when my brother died. I definitely had a sense that I had to have a purpose. 

‘And so I didn’t know what that purpose was, but I felt like I had to have purpose in what I did, which goes back to dynamism, I guess.’  

Taking about other key moments that changed the trajectory of her life Gabby recalled meeting her husband Kenny, who she married in 2001.

Career: Gabby was also asked if she realised what a female pioneer she is, with her saying she doesn’t think about it but after Daniel’s death ‘definitely had a sense that I had to have a purpose’ (pictured in September 2020)

She explained how she was out with a friend and the stopped at ‘the K-Bar in Fulham it was 10 to two and it closed at two’ but managed to get inside.

And within those ten minutes Gabby explained she met her husband and went on to spend hours chatting to him in an all night cafe across the road.

WHAT IS HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY? 

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart muscle becomes thickened.

Around one in 5,000 people have the condition, and it most commonly develops during the teenage years or young adulthood.

However, the symptoms vary depending on the severity.

These include shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness and fainting attacks – most commonly during exercise.

It can cause the heart muscle to become stiff, which means your left ventricle doesn’t fill as easily as normal and less blood is then pumped out.

It can also partially obstruct blood flow, which can make small blood clots more likely. 

Gabby has previously spoken about the ‘cataclysmic’ long lasting impact of her brother’s sudden death.

She said her family was ‘shattered into a million pieces’ after Daniel keeled over and died while playing football with their dad.

She said the traumatic incident ‘defined her youth’ and affected the way her family lived the rest of their lives. 

Speaking on The Game Changers podcast last November, she said: ‘He died of a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is sudden death effectively.

‘We had no warning. He had a congenital heart defect which meant that from the outside and ostensibly his fitness was just beyond you know. He was in the top 0.00 per cent.

‘He was a footballer who signed for Leeds United and could run all day long played sport all the time.’

Daniel collapsed and died on 25 May 1992 in his garden, at the age of 15, as a result of an undetected heart condition just before he was due to begin a footballing career with Leeds United. 

He had been playing with his dad, Welsh footballer and manager Terry Yorath at the time, and Gabby said her mother, Christine, struggled to deal with her son’s death.

Logan, who herself was a successful gymnast, continued: ‘[Daniel’s] heart was enlarged and basically was about to give way and pack up on him but there were no signs at all.

‘He was never breathless. When he did die, he died in the garden playing football with my dad. He was just kicking the ball about and keeled over.

‘It was absolutely cataclysmic. It was like a sledgehammer coming down and shattering the family into a million pieces.’

Logan now has two children of her own and presents a host of sports programmes for the BBC as well as Sports Personality of the Year.

She said that even now almost 28 years later she and her family are still coming to terms with the ‘ramifications’ of Daniel’s tragic death.

She continued: ‘Even if someone dies suddenly at 78 it feels young but they are 78 when a child dies so young obviously there is such a fallout among the whole family.

‘It defined the rest of our youth and has defined how the family has gone on from those years and it leaves its mark in many ways.

‘It was a really hard time for everybody and to this day the ramifications are still there.’

Heartache: The sports presenter has previously revealed her family was ‘shattered into a million pieces’ after Daniel died while playing football with their dad (Pictured last November)

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