THE family of a promotion-winning former Wrexham AFC captain say they are on a mission to raise money so he can have a new knee operation carried out privately.

Gareth Davies, 69, who was born in Bangor, was a true one-club man, making a total of 598 appearances for the Reds across 16 years, receiving three international caps for his country in the process. His most successful season for the club was when he was named Player of the Season after leading them to promotion as Third Division Champions in the 1977-78 season.

However, the club legend, who was diagnosed with dementia several years ago, is now wheelchair-bound after a recent fall has been told he will have a wait of up to 18 months for a new knee to be provided on the NHS, which his family say is simply "too long".

Son-in-law Chris Braisdell, 32, from Gwersyllt said: "The daily pain and lack of mobility is taking its toll and he's now become very withdrawn and incredibly low on top of his dementia.

"Unfortunately with the way he is at this moment in time, he just cant wait that long. The knee is actually the same one he damaged while he was playing. He actually defied Doctors orders by continuing his career as the physio's at the time had told him he would never be able to play again."

Although the classy centre half, who also has three grandchildren, often gets confused in his day to day life, when it comes to his football career, he can talk for hours and remember so many stories.

Mr Braisdell added: "It's such a cruel illness. He sometimes gets confused and thinks he has to get ready and go and pick my wife up from school, but honestly, you can ask him anything about his playing days and he remembers them like they were yesterday.

"He had a fall last year which caused irreparable damage to his left arm, which they can't actually operate on, because he also suffers from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) so he's going through a lot, bless him."

Following his most recent fall, and due to Mr Davies vulnerability, he was moved to Bay Tree House care home, and the family think a new knee would dramatically improve his quality of life, as he looks forward to celebrating his 70th birthday in August.

Mr Braisdell said: "Due to how his health is at the moment, having to wait 18 months to two years for the new knee, would simply be too long, I'm not sure he'd live to see it.

"A replacement knee would really help give him his independence back and would definitely make him more confident and could even help slow the dementia down a little.

"I hope Wrexham fans will remember how he put his body on the line for the club and anything they can give to support him would be very much appreciated from us all."

The family are looking to raise approximately £12,000 through a

Go Fund Me page

that will run alongside other fundraising events and ideas.