Football 'dementia disclaimers' predicted

Football 'dementia disclaimers' predicted

Footballers may have to sign disclaimers to prevent them suing over dementia and other brain injuries, a former head of the SFA has predicted.

Gordon Smith also repeated his calls for children under the age of 12 to be banned from heading footballs.

It emerged at the weekend that former Celtic captain Billy McNeill has dementia and is unable to speak.

His family have called for more research into possible links between heading and dementia.

Mr Smith, who was chief executive of the Scottish Football Association between 2007 and 2010, played for Manchester City when Mr McNeill was the manager in the 1980s.


He pointed out that footballs are now much lighter than they were in 1950s and 60s, and that children under the age of 12 play seven-a-side games in which there is hardly any heading.

But he called for Scotland to follow the American model by imposing a total ban on heading by any child under the age of 12.

At the weekend, Mr McNeill's wife, Liz, told the Sunday Mail and the Scottish Sun on Sunday about her husband's battle with the degenerative brain disease since being diagnosed seen years ago.

She decided to make his illness public ahead of the 50th anniversary of Mr McNeill becoming the first British captain to lift the European Cup when Celtic defeated Italian club Internazionale in Lisbon in May 1967.

Mrs McNeill said: "I think it's the right time for us to talk about this now. Heading the ball and the possibilities of concussive effects on the brain needs more discussion.

"We don't know if Billy's dementia is linked to his football. More research needs to be done."

Last year, the Football Association in England said it would lead a study into possible links between football and brain diseases.

It followed a campaign by the family of former England, West Brom and Notts County striker, Jeff Astle, who died from brain trauma in 2002.

A coroner described his illness as an "industrial disease", in reference to him heading leather balls during his career.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Quick thinking theme park rescuers save falling US teenager

Quick thinking theme park rescuers save falling US teenager..

25-Jun, 15:27

Visitors to a New York theme park have dramatically rescued a terrified...

Bill Cosby tour 'not about sex assault'

Bill Cosby tour 'not about sex assault'..

26-Jun, 06:00

Bill Cosby's publicity team have denied reports that his upcoming...

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford celebrate 7th wedding anniversary

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford celebrate 7th wedding anniversary..

26-Jun, 08:12

by Ainhoa Barcelona Eamonn Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford celebrated...

North Carolina teen missing for a year found alive in Georgia

North Carolina teen missing for a year found alive in Georgia..

26-Jun, 09:00

A North Carolina teenager who went missing a year ago, was found alive in...

The Latest: Dreamer's lawyers call arrest 'bogus operation'

The Latest: Dreamer's lawyers call arrest 'bogus operation'..

16-Feb, 22:04

The Latest on a man who was detained by immigration agents despite his...

Media and internet company IAC is buying Angie's List

Media and internet company IAC is buying Angie's List..

01-May, 19:24

Media and internet company IAC/InterActiveCorp on Monday said it is...

Polish city Katowice to host 2018 UN climate change meeting

Polish city Katowice to host 2018 UN climate change meeting..

01-Jun, 09:21

The United Nations says that the Polish city of Katowice has been chosen...

Riot in Stockholm suburb after drug suspect is arrested

Riot in Stockholm suburb after drug suspect is arrested..

21-Feb, 07:36

Swedish police on Tuesday were investigating a riot that broke out...