- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Retired North Carolina radio play-by-play announcer Woody Durham says he has a neurocognitive disorder and will no longer perform public speaking activities.

In an open letter to fans released by the school Wednesday, the former “Voice of the Tar Heels” who retired in 2011 says he was diagnosed last winter with primary progressive aphasia, which affects language expression.

Durham says he will continue to travel with his wife Jean, attend school functions and sporting events. He also mentioned raising awareness and money for research or treatment of neurocognitive disorders.

“While learning of this diagnosis was a bit of a shock for Jean and me, and yes, quite an ironic one at that,” Durham writes, “it also brought a sense of relief to us in terms of understanding what was happening to me and how best to deal with it.”

Durham, who turns 75 in August, called football and men’s basketball games from 1971 through 2011, calling more than 1,800 games with a voice that became inextricably tied to some of the school’s most unforgettable victories. That included the 1982 and 1993 NCAA basketball championships under late coach Dean Smith as well as the 2005 and 2009 titles under Roy Williams.

Durham called 23 bowl games and 13 Final Fours in his career. He also spoke during the public memorial service following Smith’s death in February 2015.

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