A blow to the header.
New research now links soccer to brain injuries, after CTE was found in the brain of a soccer player who was originally diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and died aged 29.
The Jeff Astle Foundation is proud to announce that Alan Shearer is now a patron.
As a specialist of heading the football in the modern era, Alan Shearer is an important addition to our cause.
How football failed Nobby Stiles, the Manchester United and England icon struggling with dementia
With research into the link between heading footballs and degenerative brain disease still not undertaken and little or no support from relevant governing bodies, the former heroes of our great game feel let down. Read the article.
Ex professional Ally Brown suffering from same condition.
Ally Brown made 496 Football League appearances in a career spanning 18 years. Through Go Fund me, his granddaughters Olivia and Betsy-Sue are planning a sponsored climb of Mount Snowdon to raise £500 for The Jeff Astle Foundation as Ally Brown, who also played for West Brom, is now suffering with the same brain injury as Jeff. Click here to give the girls your support.
PFA urges FA to consider ban on heading for children under 10
Heading a ball 'damages the brain' new study expected to show... as family of late England star Jeff Astle renew call for action
Dementia: the shocking legacy of England's 1966
World Cup triumph
Midlands based menswear brand, Luke 1977, will be promoting The Jeff Astle Foundation.
As well as donating to the charity, in conjunction with England’s involvement in the European Championships. The company has stores at Merry Hill in Brierley Hill and the Bullring shopping centre Birmingham. Read more…
Football's silent shame: Dementia 'conspiracy' is a stain on the game
On the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup victory it was revealed that 4 of the 8 surviving outfield players are suffering with significant memory problems. Read the story…
Are repeated hits more significant than concussions?
As the debate continues in the USA about the connections between concussions suffered playing American Football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is the focus on concussions diverting people’s attention from a bigger problem, more common sub concussive traumas? A new study, albeit involving a limited number of people who played college football, suggests that repeated hits may be more significant than concussions.
Read more in The Washington Post
NFL Acknowledges Link Between Football and Brain Disorders
According to NBC News the NFL’s executive vice president for health & safety, Jeff Miller, has acknowledged a link between playing football and degenerative brain disorders. Research in the USA shows that a number of retired NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE, which can only be diagnosed after death. Of those diagnosed posthumously with CTE, the list includes several players who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Speaking for The Jeff Astle Foundation, Dawn Astle said, “Part of The Foundation's 3 year plan is to work with sports authorities to deliver independent research into links between brain injury in sport and degenerative brain disease. This news story emphasises how important it is that this research is undertaken in the UK as soon as possible.”
Heading a football is dangerous; the evidence mounts.
For BBC news, ex professional footballer Geoff Twentyman explores his worries about heading footballs. His own father, also a former professional, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in later life and a former team mate at Bristol Rovers, Kevin Moore, died from a type of dementia in 2013, aged just 55.
As evidence mounts linking heading footballs with long-term brain injury, in the USA a decision was taken to ban heading for children under the age of 10.
Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-35697276
Andy Wilkinson retires due to concussion injury as The Foundation invites families to tell their stories #TellJeff
31-year-old Andy Wilkinson has reluctantly announced his retirement from football after failing to recover from a concussion injury. It was just over a year ago that the former Stoke City player received a bang on the head during an FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers. The impact damaged an area of the brain that affects sight. Speaking for the The Jeff Astle Foundation, daughter Dawn Astle praised the former Premier League defender, “As far as we know Andy Wilkinson is the first professional football to retire because of a concussion injury, which is very sad news for the player who was an honest pro who gave everything for his club.”
Although Wilkinson had shown signs of improvement since the injury, he continued to feel sick after training, which led to the decision to hang up his boots. The news comes as The Jeff Astle Foundation launches a social media initiative asking former sport people and their families to come forward and tell their stories #TellJeff
Dawn Astle said, “Dr Stewart is a world leading brain injury expert who believes there are many cases where former sportspeople are suffering serious problems in later life, just like Jeff, as a result of concussion injuries or repeated low level brain trauma, which is being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or another common dementia. The Jeff Astle Foundation was set-up to raise awareness of the issues and offer support to sports people and their families who have been suffering in silence. Our latest initiative#TellJeff is a plea for families to come forward and share their stories. Only by raising the profile of this subject can we get help to those in need.”
Families can make initial contact with The Jeff Astle Foundation via the contact page on the website.
Read the new concussion
guidelines released by the FA
The FA release new concussion guidelines
Concussion guidelines outline clear message – ‘If in doubt, sit them out’
Footballers who sustain a suspected concussion, either during training or in a game, should immediately be removed from the pitch and not allowed to return, until the appropriate treatment has been administered.
That is the message at the heart of new guidelines launched today by The FA for managing head injuries at all levels of the game.
Available as both a free-to-download digital document and online resource via The FA and County FA websites, the guidance is based on evidence and best practice from around the world, and includes key information on how a concussion should be managed from the time of injury through to a player’s safe return to football.
The advisory guidelines have been designed for those who manage head injuries in professional and grassroots football - from clubs and schools, to parents and doctors.
Dave Reddin, The FA’s Head of Performance Services, said: “We have been very fortunate, and I am very grateful, that we have had the combined expertise of an international expert panel in reviewing and revising our guidelines. This allowed us to take viewpoints from inside and outside the game, especially referring to those sports with a longer period of experience in dealing with concussion. As a result I feel we have a really comprehensive set of guidelines for all levels of the game which will help to keep football safe.”
Dr Ian Beasley, The FA’s head of medical services, believes the guidelines will play a crucial role in ensuring the better management and care of head injuries across football in England, thereby making the game safer for more players at every level.
He said: “The paramount priority for The FA is player safety, and so the publication of these concussion guidelines is integral to achieving an unprecedented high level of care and safety for players at all levels. Playing football has been shown to promote good health, and so by making the game safer, we will hopefully increase participation and thereby boost the health of the nation.”
The guidelines were developed in consultation with The FA’s Expert Panel on Concussion and Head Injury, which was set-up in April 2015, and tasked with advising the organisation on issues surrounding concussion.
Peter Hamlyn, chair of the panel and eminent consultant neurological and spinal surgeon, said: “It has been a privilege and honour to be involved with this project and chair the group. Much work remains to be done in the field of concussion, though the panel was unanimous in endorsing these guidelines as reflecting the best and latest understanding of this complex field.
“I thoroughly commend The FA for the commitment and passion they have shown in supporting our work, and we will endeavour to look at reviewing these guidelines on an annual basis.”
Dr Willie Stewart, consultant neuropathologist and honorary clinical associate professor at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, is also on the expert panel.
He said: “They are a fantastic development from The FA, and are a good example of their commitment to providing a safer game for participants at all levels of football, and hopefully they have the potential to impact on sport in England as a whole.
“The guidelines clearly demonstrate The FA’s strong leadership around this issue, and provide clear information on the immediate management of the injury around the simple principle of ‘if in doubt, sit them out’.”
The guidelines have also been produced with support from some of the game’s other stakeholders including the LMA, whose chairman, Richard Bevan, commented. “The League Managers Association is pleased to support The FA’s Concussion Guidelines, as the physical wellbeing of football’s participants must always be a priority for us all working in the game.”
As well as producing the concussion guidelines, the expert panel have also been working on devising appropriate research into the long-term effects of head injury or repeated concussion episodes on the brain. The FA plan to take the appropriate research questions they have identified to FIFA in due course.
To download The FA’s Concussion Guidelines document in full, please click here or alternatively, please visit www.thefa.com/concussion to access our online resource
CHARITY LAUNCHED FOLLOWING THE TRAGIC DEATH OF FOOTBALL LEGEND
The family of West Bromwich Albion and England striker Jeff Astle will launch a charitable foundation in his honour next month, in a bid to raise awareness of the condition that killed the popular player.
Jeff, who is remembered fondly by West Brom fans for his 1968 FA Cup-winning goal, died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2002, aged just 59. A progressive, degenerative brain disease, CTE is increasingly recognised in people who have been exposed to brain injury, typically multiple concussions or repeat low level head traumas.
Current awareness of CTE is poor, with patients often diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia instead. At the moment, CTE can only be recognised after careful post-mortem examination, meaning the true extent of the disease is unknown. Last year, Jeff Astle became the first British professional footballer confirmed to have died from CTE, but many more are likely to have been missed or are currently living with this disease.
Jeff’s daughter, Dawn Astle said: “Dad was just 55 when we started to notice small changes in him; he couldn’t remember his grandson’s name or he’d ask whether his mother was still alive, even though she had died some 20 years earlier. Tests and scans followed, and we were told dad had early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Although we never really felt confident in that diagnosis and we believed that, somehow, his years as a footballer might have contributed to his illness.”
Due to be officially launched at the Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City on 11 April, the Jeff Astle Foundation aims to increase awareness of brain injury in sport, as well as providing support for the families affected and promoting independent research into CTE. Jeff Astle’s family will be attending the match, which will see the West Brom team don a replica of the famous 1968 Wembley strip that Jeff wore when scoring his memorable winning goal.
The foundation has already secured support from a number of high-profile patrons, including Gary Neville, Frank Skinner and Gordon Banks OBE.
Former Manchester United captain and Sky Sports presenter Gary Neville, commented: “As a player you are fearless and don’t think of anything other than playing football and getting the right result. However, when you listen to Jeff’s story it stops you in your track and makes you think about your own family and future. It puts football into perspective. Claire and Dawn lost a father, not a footballer and I support them in the setting up of the Jeff Astle Foundation.”
The foundation is keen to promote the ‘if in doubt, sit them out’ message, which was introduced following the death of 14 year old schoolboy and rugby player Ben Robinson, to raise awareness of the dangers of multiple impacts. Jeff’s family hopes that through education and research, the sports we all love can be made safer for players at all levels.