England 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst wants new heading restrictions in the professional game and a COMPLETE ban at youth level amid dementia crisis
- Sir Geoff Hurst says the risk to his own health from dementia is on his mind
- Hurst wants to see heading restrictions introduced at various levels of the game
- Hurst scored a hat-trick in England’s 1966 World Cup final win over Germany
Sir Geoff Hurst wants to see new heading restrictions in the professional game and has called for a complete heading ban for young children.
England’s 1966 hat-trick hero also said the risk to his own health ‘crosses my mind’ after research proved a link between football and dementia.
‘More and more people are talking about it, and more pressure is going to be put on governing bodies to do whatever they can,’ Hurst, 78, told The Daily Telegraph. ‘The danger for me is the amount of times you head the ball in practice and not in a game. Going back, I wouldn’t do the practice. I would cut that out tomorrow.
England hero Sir Geoff Hurst wants to see new heading restrictions in the professional game
‘At West Ham, we had a ball hanging from the roof. You were heading that 15, 20 or 30 times in the space of 10 or 15 minutes.’
Hurst, who has lost four of his 1966 team-mates to dementia, added: ‘And look at kids. Their brains are nowhere near as developed as adults.
‘I don’t think stopping heading would be detrimental to the quality of grassroots football for kids. They would still be able to play and enjoy it as much without heading at age 10 or whenever the scientists think they should not be heading.’
Hurst also said he would be willing to donate his brain to dementia research after he dies.
Hurst pictured with the World Cup trophy after England’s 1966 final win over Germany