Barrhead man Alex McLeish has revealed he has been tested for brain disease as he welcomed guidelines to halt children heading footballs.

The 61-year-old former Scotland manager spoke out after the Scottish FA announced measures to stop teaching children under the age of 12 to head a ball.

Research showed former footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die from brain disease.

"I get regular medicals every year," said the former Barrhead High School pupil. 

"Everything is okay in my head as well, despite heading the ball a million times or even more.

"I asked the specialist. I said I've got to confess I've headed the ball over a million times I'm sure and he said, 'well you don't have a problem'.

"It was pretty reassuring. I thought I'd be a big candidate for that."

The SFA have been joined by their counterparts in England and Northern Ireland in implementing the new guidelines, which will affect training only.

Other measures include under-12 teams being limited to one session a month with a maximum of five headers, while under-13 age groups will have one session a week.

READ MORE: Giffnock football chiefs welcome proposed ban on heading for children

Bosses at an East Renfrewshire sports club were among the first to welcome the proposals when they were mooted last month. 

Giffnock Soccer Centre, one of Scotland's largest youth football clubs, announced a policy last October to remove the heading of footballs across its smaller-side squads, up to and including the seven-a-side teams.