Parliament launch inquiry into links between sport and brain injuries

Jeff Astle 1970 Credit: PA

The family of former professional footballer Jeff Astle are welcoming today's launch of an MPs inquiry into links between sport and brain injuries.

Jeff Astle, who played for Notts County, West Bromwich Albion and England, died in 2002 at the age of 59 from a degenerative brain disease.

He was known for being a prolific goalscorer, often converted through headers.

It's believed his condition was a result of heading footballs.

Jeff Astle died from a brain disease believed to have been caused by repeatedly heading footballs. Credit: PA.

An inquiry has been launched by the Department for Culture Media and Sport Select Committee (DCMSS) into the links between sport and brain injuries.

The Concussion in sport inquiry will consider scientific evidence for links between head trauma and dementia and how risks could be mitigated.

Jeff Astle's daughter, Dawn will give evidence to the new inquiry later this month. She says the inquiry should've happened a long time ago.

The current West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce acknowledges it's a serious issue.

The first of two evidence sessions will be held on Tuesday 9 March.

The committee will take evidence on the implications for youth sport, funding for further scientific research, and the role of national governing bodies and major sporting organisations in ensuring member clubs receive up to date medical advice and promote good practice.

In the second session of the inquiry, MPs will hear from individual players and governing bodies.

The inquiry will not consider material involved in on-going legal proceedings, however it will consider potential implications of successful legal action and what impact that could have on sport in the longer term.

What changes have already been made?

Jeff Astle's family have been campaigning for change since his death in 2002. Credit: PA.

In February 2020 the Football Association (FA) announced that primary school children were banned from heading in football training in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It's after a study revealed that former footballers were 3 and a half times more likely to die from a brain disease.

Jeff Astle's family have long campaigned for research into the damaging affects of headers and a change in the rules.

ITV Central interviewed his family in 2020 to get their reaction on the FA's decision to ban heading in primary schools.

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