Alzheimer's and football

The three of us who played got Alzheimer's: Cruel legacy for Hugh Ryden and his football brothers | Daily Mail Online

Irrespective of where the article originated and people's dislike of the newspaper there are occasions, politics apart, that newspapers like the Mail print readable articles, especially on a subject that affects so many families let alone footballers.


  • Very sad to read Coin ,

    The evidence has been there for the last 20 years that heading a football is going to damage your brain leading to Alzheimers or Dementia .

    There is an argument to say it safer with a lighter ball against a wet heavy leather ball .

    The problem they have found now the new lighter balls are travelling so much faster they cause similar problems .

    Perhaps we should go back to playing football and not headball , maybe a ban on heading will be the future ?

    A question for you Colin , are Goalkeepers suffering from the same brain injuries ?

  • edited January 7


    what did they use to say about goalkeepers. "They had to be dull to play in goal"

    For those of a younger generation the old heavy ball complete with lacing and especially in wet weather was a totally concept to the art of heading in the modern game. Do you ban heading from the game, and is there much difference to the brain injuries received in boxing. You make your own mind up.

  • That was a serious question do Goalkeepers suffer the same ?

    If the players know the risk it is their decision ,

    Rugby union are being sued by ex players for negligence, slippery slope I think ,

    Don't think you should compare sports , we are talking football

    I can remember watching Wales with the best headers of a ball Ron Davies and Wyn Davies ,

  • Malc,

    Plenty of keepers have had spells of concussion during their career, our own Michael Hughes having to retire early from the game, and from the link, just Peter Bonetti is listed. Obviously there are others and locally I believe Roy Saunders and Dixie Hale suffered from the disease.

    Football and dementia: players who died with or are living with the disease | Football | The Guardian

  • Yes I remember Mike Hughes having to retire , very promising keeper ,

    We used to talk to Roy in the tea room .

  • From the UK government official statistics I get the following:

    • prevalence of dementia in the under 65 age group has reduced significantly from 3.4 per 10,000 in 2018 to 3.2 per 10,000 in 2019, although there has been no significant change in all age prevalence

    The critical question (assuming that the claim is football brings dementia early onset) is how many players linked to the PFA alumni are diagnosed under the age of 65.

    If the rate is significantly statistically higher than 3.2 per 10,000 then we would have a strong correlation that would need investigation. This seems a reasonably simple study to track and trace.

    Just pulling a few names from paper headlines to make a case is the same as saying that my aunty Doris has it, so it must be a result of her being a dinner lady.

  • A lot of people getting their knickers in a twist over this when there is no need, I'm in no way putting down the good medical research being done and hopefully it will bring some prevention help for the future. Why is it that when a sport related injury is identified there seams to be a rush by some to ban a sport or put things in the way to stop it happening to the detriment of the sport itself, we all have potential health hazards in our work and social life but it doesn't make us stop what we do. you can be injured walking down the street, do mountaineers stop climbing because they could fall, skydivers carry on their sport do they all stress that there parachute won't open or risk spinal injuries on landing. Everything we do can have risks but doesn't stop us living, its the risks we take to enjoy life so why should you be allowed to sue someone or look for a scapegoat all the time (if nobody else is at fault for the injury)

  • I think the issue @Gingergit (and I fully agree with you by the way) is that we all make a decision to undertake leisure activities that carry an element of risk - A decision we make as individual grown arse adults.

    But what if we do things where the risks are unknown? e.g breathing asbestos or licking lead paint? We are entitled to do that - but the decision should be an informed one.

    Knowing that there is a small risk of early onset dementia would not have stopped me playing football for 35 years because of the immense pleasure it gave me - but for others they might reconsider..

    The risks of skydiving and mountain climbing are clear and obvious - maybe the effects of football were not known at the time that people committed to the risks.

    Making a choice is everyone's right - but it should be an informed choice.

  • @Jackareme

    This is a difficult situation because with the examples given, mountain climbing and skydiving (amongst many others), these are largely activities that would be undertaken by adults who should be capable of making an informed choice. This would also be true for adults wanting to play football with all it's perceived and inherent risks.

    However, a young child is not considered to have the mental capacity to make such a decision and therefore the decision must be made by the responsible parent/carer. Imagine your reaction if your parent/carer had told you at a young age that you couldn't play football and that the decision was theirs and not yours to make.

    Such a difficult dilemma and not one that has a clear answer.

    Not sure I understand your comment about breathing asbestos or licking lead paint though. If the risks are unknown, how can you make an informed choice ? You can't know what isn't known. Or am I missing your point ?

  • Sorry @deekay reading my post back it does read as my usual sloblocks... ☹️

    The point I was trying to make is that people make choices that make zero sense - such as skydiving, and they do things that are unwittingly dangerous eg breathing asbestos. The decisions can be both informed (but potentially crazy) and/or uninformed and ignorant.

    The only way to move things forward is to provide folks with the relevant facts to inform the decision and let them "knock themselves out" and live with the consequences.

    For kids - that is interesting, as they need guidance - so like everything else parental control is paramount. The dynamics of parent/child control and responsibility make this incredibly difficult.

    In short we are on the same page!

  • Agree, but put a stop to the killjoy brigade at the same time

  • edited January 14


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