Dementia warning came 54 years ago

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Paul Waine
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Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Paul Waine » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:24 pm

Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer, Tuesday November 24 2020, 12.01am, The Times

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/aef9 ... 1360352e50

Introductory paras of lengthy article.

The pivotal point to establish in the emotive debate about dementia and football is how aware the authorities were about the dangers of heading, in the Sixties in particular. For any class action to succeed there has to be proof of negligence.

So the first piece of evidence for any lawyer considering taking on any case, should the families of those afflicted decide to call the authorities properly to account, can be found in the October 1, 1966, edition of the weekly Football League Review, the official journal of the Football League, and specifically the article on page six vividly headlined: “DANGER IN HEADING THE BALL?”

Even then, scarcely 60 days after the World Cup final, England’s greatest sporting moment, the game was discussing the very real possibilities of the risks from heading.

*********************

I know there's been other threads re footballers and dementia on mb last few days. I'm happy that this is merged, if felt appropriate.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by huw.Y.WattfromWare » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:10 pm

Without wishing to take sides on this debate I would say that heading, or mis-heading, a wet caser in the 60s is totally different to heading the coated balloon they play with now.
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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Colburn_Claret » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm

I would ask how many people with dementia have never headed a football in their lives.
This is putting 2 and 2 together and coming up 6.
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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Jakubclaret » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:26 pm

huw.Y.WattfromWare wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:10 pm
Without wishing to take sides on this debate I would say that heading, or mis-heading, a wet caser in the 60s is totally different to heading the coated balloon they play with now.
Makes no difference, yes you are right in the olden days footballs were hell of a sight heavier but you couldn’t generate the same speed & velocity as you can nowadays with the lighter 1s so the danger is just offset.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Paul Waine » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:53 pm

Jakubclaret wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:26 pm
Makes no difference, yes you are right in the olden days footballs were hell of a sight heavier but you couldn’t generate the same speed & velocity as you can nowadays with the lighter 1s so the danger is just offset.
I know I don't remember the maths, but I think there's a lot about the trajectory of the ball and where the head is when it connects with the ball. My intuition is that a heavy ball would always be more likely to "jar" your head than the lighter balls do/did. So, you'd feel it in the back of your neck if you met a heavy ball "head on" with your forehead, but there'd be a lot more give in the lighter balls. I still played the occasional 11-a-side game when I was in my 50s. One of our subs had a great camera. He got a multi-shot series of me heading the ball away from a corner. It was surprising how much "give" the photo showed the ball had. I doubt the old leather casey would have responded that way - and I know I'd have been on the ground if I'd let one hit my head like that! :)

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Claret Till I Die » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:23 am

Colburn_Claret wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm
I would ask how many people with dementia have never headed a football in their lives.
This is putting 2 and 2 together and coming up 6.

Smoking causes cancer, it's been proved. My wife's sister died at the age of 7 despite never having smoked.
Perhaps 6 was the number then too ?
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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Hipper » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:26 am

Why should someone or some body 'be brought to account'?

I'm not denying the apparent fact that heading a football can cause dementia. The question is, should someone be held responsible for a very basic part of playing football which has been going on for a hundred years or more. This question equally applies to many sports - boxing, rugby, horse racing.... The risks can be reduced but eliminating them will radically alter the game.

I imagine if you take heading out of the game - the only solution to reduce the risks of brain damage - then a substantial portion of the players would no longer be suitable - Mee and Tarkowski for example.

The article is also poor when it claims that the Football League Review was some sort of important publication (perhaps on par with The Lancet say). It didn't actually sell 350,000 a week as most of them were free when you bought a football programme. It was a good read and was presumably used because most of the programmes at the time (ours in particular) were awful.
Colburn_Claret wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:19 pm
I would ask how many people with dementia have never headed a football in their lives.
This is putting 2 and 2 together and coming up 6.
5 seems to be the answer:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... -landmark/

The research is there - what is the solution?

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by IanMcL » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:37 am

If heading a football is a risk, where does that leave Boxing?

Like others, Old leather ball in the wet and laces, ugh! Like a rock coming your way!

Personally, I think the greater risk is the regular clash of heads.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Colburn_Claret » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:47 am

Hipper wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:26 am
Why should someone or some body 'be brought to account'?

I'm not denying the apparent fact that heading a football can cause dementia. The question is, should someone be held responsible for a very basic part of playing football which has been going on for a hundred years or more. This question equally applies to many sports - boxing, rugby, horse racing.... The risks can be reduced but eliminating them will radically alter the game.

I imagine if you take heading out of the game - the only solution to reduce the risks of brain damage - then a substantial portion of the players would no longer be suitable - Mee and Tarkowski for example.

The article is also poor when it claims that the Football League Review was some sort of important publication (perhaps on par with The Lancet say). It didn't actually sell 350,000 a week as most of them were free when you bought a football programme. It was a good read and was presumably used because most of the programmes at the time (ours in particular) were awful.



5 seems to be the answer:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... -landmark/

The research is there - what is the solution?
The problem with research like this, is it's tainted.
IF you look for something, you are guaranteed to find it.
Wether it's finding racism in every casual remark, or seeking a link between football and dementia. IF you want it to be, then you will definitely find a link. It doesn't mean jack **** at the end of the day.
I don't know, but I doubt footballers are any more susceptible to the horrible affects of dementia than anybody else. The truth is, even if there was a link, so what? If it bothers some people, then don't play the game. There's no reason to spoil everyone else's pleasure. Boxing, motor sport, rock climbing, smoking, drinking everything we do carries a certain amount of risk. The day we wrap humanity up in bubble wrap, is the day we start evolving backwards.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Colburn_Claret » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:49 am

Claret Till I Die wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:23 am
Smoking causes cancer, it's been proved. My wife's sister died at the age of 7 despite never having smoked.
Perhaps 6 was the number then too ?
I think in trying to mock me, you've just proved my point.
Thank you.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Claret Till I Die » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:53 am

Colburn_Claret wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:49 am
I think in trying to mock me, you've just proved my point.
Thank you.
I wasn't intending to mock you. All I wanted was your opinion which you freely give on dementia, a disease that my family are currently going through. If a link can be proven, then it may help other families through their own journey of dementia for which the government currently give very little help.

Thank you

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by BOYSIE31 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:58 am

My auntie has dementia and never headed a ball in her life

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Colburn_Claret » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:03 pm

Claret Till I Die wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:53 am
I wasn't intending to mock you. All I wanted was your opinion which you freely give on dementia, a disease that my family are currently going through. If a link can be proven, then it may help other families through their own journey of dementia for which the government currently give very little help.

Thank you
Anything that can be done to help dementia sufferers or their families cope with the disease is to be applauded.
I don't believe that this story line has anything to do with either though, it's just a headline seeking, self serving biased look at a tiny microcosm of society, imo. With the same data base I'm sure someone else could show that there is no link.

My thoughts are with you CTID, I've been fortunate not to have a family member suffer, but I know from others how heart breaking it can be to see the ones we care for suffer this awful disease.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by RalphCoatesComb » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:18 pm

Probably been mentioned a lot already but there's a World of difference between heading a rain sodden and mud covered ball (Pre-1970's) and heading one of the shiny light-weight, balloon types of the modern game.

Many of us will remember [sic] the sickening sensation through your upper body of catching one of the older balls square on your noggin. Ouch !

Imagine that 100 times per game. It would be like doing 10 rounds with Michael Gerard Tyson !

And, we're nicely back to a link with dementia. Common Sense says that you can't keep rattling the soft walnut inside your skull without doing some damage to it.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by MT03ALG » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:00 pm

About 54 years ago I headed a ball on a cold wintry night at Trawden Recreation Ground when training with Winewall Rangers F.C. At the end of training I apparently did not know where my clothes etc. were in the changing room. I woke up the next morning in Victoria Hospital, Burnley and asked the nurse where I was. She said I had asked her that 10 times already !! My initial reaction was to check to see if I still remembered my Latin/French/German verbs !! I have been ok since, I think, but others may dispute this !! I was thankful I played in midfield and not centre half or centre forward.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by NottsClaret » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:12 pm

Is anyone suggesting banning headers yet? Sport has risks, better to understand them and acknowledge them, then everyone can make up their own mind.

Boxing, rugby, cricket, NFL, motor racing.. can all occasionally be fatal. The list of long term injuries from those sports is also pretty grim but people still enjoy taking part and accept the damage they bring, now and in the future. Football needs to be the same - understand fully the risks and then let individuals and parents make their choice.

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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Hipper » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:49 pm

MT03ALG wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:00 pm
About 54 years ago I headed a ball on a cold wintry night at Trawden Recreation Ground when training with Winewall Rangers F.C. At the end of training I apparently did not know where my clothes etc. were in the changing room. I woke up the next morning in Victoria Hospital, Burnley and asked the nurse where I was. She said I had asked her that 10 times already !! My initial reaction was to check to see if I still remembered my Latin/French/German verbs !! I have been ok since, I think, but others may dispute this !! I was thankful I played in midfield and not centre half or centre forward.
We'll see how you are progressing by counting how many times you make this post. :D
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Re: Dementia warning came 54 years ago

Post by Jakubclaret » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:24 pm

Paul Waine wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:53 pm
I know I don't remember the maths, but I think there's a lot about the trajectory of the ball and where the head is when it connects with the ball. My intuition is that a heavy ball would always be more likely to "jar" your head than the lighter balls do/did. So, you'd feel it in the back of your neck if you met a heavy ball "head on" with your forehead, but there'd be a lot more give in the lighter balls. I still played the occasional 11-a-side game when I was in my 50s. One of our subs had a great camera. He got a multi-shot series of me heading the ball away from a corner. It was surprising how much "give" the photo showed the ball had. I doubt the old leather casey would have responded that way - and I know I'd have been on the ground if I'd let one hit my head like that! :)
True I don't doubt your word & I wouldn't like to find out which hurt most, a slow moving heavy object or something pinged at a crazy barbwire pullthru velocity, as an afterthought the heavier balls will generate some speed airborne coming down as gravity takes effect.

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