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Football dementia study 15 years too late: ex-England player

23 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Former England international Chris Sutton has accused Professional Footballers’ Association chief Gordon Taylor of letting players down after a landmark study showing the link between football and dementia, reports AFP.

A Glasgow University study found former footballers are approximately three-and-a-half times more likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases than the general population.

The report, released on Monday, was commissioned by England’s Football Association and the PFA and assessed the medical records of 7,676 men who played professional football in Scotland between 1900 and 1976.

Outgoing PFA chief executive Taylor has been strongly criticised for his lack of action on the subject, in particular by the family of former West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle, whose 2002 death from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was linked to repeatedly heading heavy leather footballs.

“The confirmation that there is a link between football and dementia brings me no satisfaction. It makes me angry,” Sutton said in a column in the Daily Mail newspaper.

“Angry for people like my dad, Mike, and other former footballers who are dying in the most horrible and humiliating way. Angry for the future generations who will suffer, too, because this study was rolled out 15 years too late.”