Sports

Lampard ‘greatly concerned’ about dementia in football

Links between the sport and the brain disease have been thrust back onto the agenda after the news of 1966 World Cup winner and Manchester United legend, Charlton’s, condition.  

His team-mate for club and country, Nobby Stiles, who died last week, was also suffering from dementia since the age of 78.  

Research published last year claimed footballers were three and a half times more likely to develop neurodegenerative conditions as a result of repeated heading of the ball.

Guidelines released by the FA this year stated that children aged 11 and under will no longer participate in heading training.  

Lampard said: “We have to look at the young game, with younger players. Maybe, and this has to be passed across to the scientists and the medical sides and people that look deeply into this and are experienced in it, to see when you have young developing players how much heading they should be doing and if it should be restricted.  

“I don’t know the exact line about where those restrictions should come in, but I feel very strongly about it.  

“I will be very happy to put my name to it, to speak up for it, because these great players of our time, people I look up to hugely now, we have to support them big time. It’s a big deal for me.”

Chelsea manager Lampard also insists more should be done within the game to help players suffering from dementia.  

England World Cup winner Nobby Stiles dies aged 78

“It’s something that concerns me greatly,” he said. “The first action that should be taken is that every kind of support (should be given) to every player, ex player that is suffering in any terms with dementia or anything like that which could be related to football.  

“We know there have been directly related examples looked into this and players that were household names that made this country win the World Cup in 1966. Any player – I’m not just talking about the Bobby Charltons and the Nobby Stiles — I’m talking about any player.  

“We have to support them first and foremost because clearly there’s something going on there that has been causing a lot of suffering for a lot of families.”  

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