A new charity, supported by the family of Nobby Stiles, has been set up to help football and rugby players affected by brain damage and dementia.
Head for Change will offer practical solutions, providing care and support to families. He will also campaign for the immediate introduction of safer sports practices in football and rugby, as well as for funding for new research on the issue.
Over the past few months, a number of well-known sportsmen and women have spoken out against the devastating effects of concussions. Former England rugby player Steve Thompson, 42, described how he was diagnosed with dementia. His condition is so bad that he doesn’t even remember winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
The Head for Change charity was founded by families of people with dementia. Director Judith Gates cares for her husband Bill, who played for Middlesbrough in the 1960s and 1970s, alongside Stiles, who died in October. He was trained by Jack Charlton, who died of dementia last year.
Gates told Sky Sports News: “By learning from the past and moving forward with good will, together we can take care of players past, protect current and future players and create a safer game for tomorrow. We need, this is what the players. and the fans want, this is what we can accomplish together. Working towards this goal is both a privilege and a shared responsibility. It will be my husband’s legacy “.
Another administrator, Dr Sally Tucker is an NHS surgeon and the daughter of a former professional footballer with dementia.
She said: “In medicine, we follow the ethical principle of ‘first, do no harm’. We want to bring together the best minds of research with the governing bodies of sport to avoid harming those who participate, while ensuring that the game lives and research advances our knowledge. “
The charity plans to offer education programs on brain health and hopes families of those affected by degenerative brain injuries come into contact, as well as anyone in the sport who feels they could. help to be part of the solution.