Dementia; why footballers need protective head-gear – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

Football legend Jack Charlton who died last year.

FURTHER to the debate on the long term health risks of heading in football (The Yorkshire Post, April 12), many of the former professionals who are presenting with early dementia will have plied their trade in the days when footballs were made totally of absorbent leather and, when saturated, could double their weight.

British players could also have been at greater risk than many of their foreign counterparts because, broadly speaking, we have tended to play the ball in the air while they preferred short passing along the ground.

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However, the more acute damage is caused by head collisions. Protective head-gear would surely be a huge step forward, enabling safe heading while retaining the great spectacle of the headed goal.

When will a statue to Leeds United legend Jack Charlton be erected?

Such a radical development might appeal to FIFA who are not normally averse to a bit 
of tinkering. Meanwhile, we should continue to restrict heading in training, especially for children.

From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

BEFORE the debate on where to locate statues of Prince Philip, what about the memorial to footballing legend Jack Charlton who died last year – or was it all talk?

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