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  • Kirsten

Football and Neurodegenerative Diseases

I was very pleased to speak in a debate on the links between football and neurodegenerative diseases today. Research is clear that the links between repeated heading of the ball and future diagnoses of dementia and other associated conditions are real, and of significant concern.

Many of those affected are professional players from an era when this didn't mean silly money contracts. Regardless, as things stand this is not taken into account in terms of it being (obviously) an industrial injury. That means a glaring lack of support for those affected, and their loved ones.

It's not just professional players at high level clubs who are elected either. This is an issue which needs more light shed on it to support clubs at all levels, and more research on the impact on girls and women footballers is much needed.

I was glad to be able to mention some of my own footballing heroes, including the late Frank Kopel of Dundee United Football Club and his wife Amanda, the brilliant girls of Busby Girls AFC, the East Ren clubs like Giffnock Soccer Centre whose approach is so inclusive, and the mighty Arthurlie FC.

Whichever team you follow, we all want players to be safe and supported to be safe, so this battle to get reclassification as an industrial injury, and more research, will go on.


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