Headway Suffolk welcomes a new consultation launched by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) into former footballers concerned about neurodegenerative diseases (NDD).
The PFA statement says: “Insight and data from the consultation will be used as part of ongoing discussions with the Premier League, The Football Association, English Football League and League Managers Association as work continues towards the establishment of an industry wide care fund to support players living with dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.”
Dawn Astle is Project Lead for NDD in Football at the PFA and spoke passionately at Headway Suffolk’s Neuro Conference last year about losing her father, former England international Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeatedly heading the ball.
Dawn said: “We currently have hundreds of former players and their families who are suffering as a direct result of their careers in professional football. I hope this process will encourage more former players to come forward and help further demonstrate the sheer scale of the issue.
“My focus has always been on fighting to secure substantial and long-term support for families caring for loved ones with a neurodegenerative disease. I’ve always been clear that the responsibility and duty of care towards players rests, not just with the union, but the entire football industry.
“I also hope that consultation will provide yet more evidence for the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. After nearly two decades, they now need to recognise CTE as an industrial disease. The evidence is clear and it can’t be ignored any longer.”