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FA to research effects of head injuries on players

Posted in: Head and Brain Injuries Sporting Injuries 

A long-running campaign has finally triggered the Football Association to carry out research into the effects of head injuries sustained within the sport. After West Bromwich Albion player, Jeff Astle, died from a brain condition in 2002, his family has met with the FA chairman to discuss what can be done to prevent future fatalities. Jeff Astle died at age 59 from a condition that is most commonly linked to boxing, despite having been originally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

After years of campaigning for something to be done, Mr Astle’s family met with the FA chairman Greg Dyke on Sunday. He agreed to carry out a study, looking into instances of dementia and the cases surrounding former players.  The Justice For Jeff organisation has previously urged the FA to carry out research into the risks of players heading footballs and suffering concussion. It was believed that the former England striker had died from Alzheimer’s, but the coroner at the inquest ruled that heading heavy leather footballs in the 1960s and 70s had damaged his brain.

“Constructive”

Jeff Astle’s daughter, Dawn Astle, described the meeting as “brilliant”. She said that she finally felt like her family was being listened to. Mr Dyke also recognised the meeting as a positive step forward, describing it as “constructive”. He said that the FA would now start working with partners, such as the Professional Footballers Association, to draw up the exact terms of the study. The Premier League introduced new rules surrounding head injuries last week.

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