Taylor defends work of PFA on dementia after criticism from Sutton


ordon Taylor has defended the work of the Professional Footballers’ Association on the issue of dementia in football following stinging criticism from former England striker Chris Sutton.

Speaking this week, Sutton – whose father Mike, a former footballer, died last year following a long battle with dementia – said: “The fact is the FA and PFA have not done anywhere near enough. They have ignored, shunned, turned their backs on a massive issue.

“Hundreds of players have died. My father among them. And we do not even know what has happened in the amateur game.

They have not been interested. Gordon Taylor has blood on his hands.”

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In a statement released to BBC Sport, Taylor rejected those claims and said: “During four decades at the PFA, we have always looked to help not only our current members but our approximately 50,000 former members when they have requested our support for whatever reason.

“Such support was offered personally to Chris Sutton for his father, together with an invitation to our offices to see at first hand the work done, the lobbying done, the research done, the support available, the changes to regulations and medical rules in dealing with concussion and possible short and long term consequences of repetitive heading.

“The invitation was never taken up but nevertheless, I believe we have done more than any other players union, sporting union or trade union on this issue when this is also a worldwide problem for governments and all populations, health services and neurologists alike.

“A co-ordinated approach is necessary and we will continue to lobby for that and continue to address it whilst mindful of the many beneficial effects and well-being that fitness and sport bring to our lives.”

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