Retired footballer Bobby Hunt opens up about Alzheimer's battle

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Video report by ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

A former Colchester United and Ipswich Town player has spoken about his battle with Alzheimer's Disease after a recent study linked heading a football with memory loss.

Bobby Hunt, who's 74, played in the 1960s when footballs were harder and heavier than those used in the modern game.

Bobby was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year - and wonders if it might be related to the days when he was playing.

He says he welcomes new research by the University of Stirling, which found that heading causes significant change in the brain's function.

Bobby's wife Sylvia noticed a problem when he began to forget names.

Bobby's wife realised there was a problem when he began forgetting names. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The death of former England international Jeff Astle in 2002 at the age of 59 prompted the calls for more research around brain injury.

He had dementia, which a coroner said was caused by heading heavy footballs.

Bobby Hunt played in the same Colchester team as Duncan Forbes, who later went to Norwich, and is now in a care home after suffering from Alzheimer's for several years.

Bobby used to play when he had head injuries. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Medical experts say it's important the current research is taken seriously.

Experts say current research needs to be taken seriously. Credit: British Pathe

Bobby Hunt believes his Alzheimer's might be connected to constant heading - but with lighter footballs these days, he hopes there isn't an over-reaction.