MPs demand support for Sportsmail’s seven-point dementia plan as former stars Viv Anderson, Peter Reid, Vinny Samways, Darren Moore and Phil Brown join the call for action
- Sportsmail has started a campaign to finally tackle football’s dementia scandal
- Former footballers and MP’s have taken the dementia campaign to Parliament
- They are demanding the Government support Sportsmail’s seven-point plan
A group of former footballers, managers and politicians have taken Sportsmail’s dementia campaign to Parliament.
In letters sent to the Prime Minister and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, former England stars Peter Reid and Viv Anderson, as well as ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock, are among the signatories calling for an urgent review into the possible link between heading a ball and neurodegenerative diseases.
Calls for the DCMS select committee to investigate whether dementia sufferers are getting adequate support could also see the game’s bosses dragged before MPs and told to explain themselves.
Former footballers and MP’s have taken Sportsmail’s dementia campaign to Parliament
Letters have been sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for Government support
The campaign was created after the diagnoses of ex-footballers such as Sir Bobby Charlton
The letters, organised by the FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch, demand that the Government support Sportsmail’s seven-point plan, declare not enough is being done and call on Parliament to act on the ‘growing body of evidence that repeatedly heading the ball increases the chances of dementia’.
The letters, sent by players to Secretary of State Oliver Dowden and by politicians to DCMS select committee chair Julian Knight, reference the findings of Dr Willie Stewart’s FIELD study, which reported footballers were three and a half times more likely to die of a neurodegenerative disease than the general population.
They add: ‘The newspaper (Daily Mail) also published a seven-point charter, calling for more research, recognition of dementia as an industrial disease and better support for former players who have been diagnosed with dementia.
Chris Sutton (left) is leading the campaign and has spoken about his father Mike’s struggles
‘Given football continues to be the UK’s most popular team sport, we think this an important public safety campaign that is worthy of support.’
The letter to Knight calls for an investigation into whether new restrictions on heading at youth level go far enough and whether support offered to former footballers suffering from dementia is adequate.
Should Knight launch a select committee hearing, the likes of Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the under-fire PFA, could be hauled before MPs to explain the union’s role in the game’s response to dementia.
FA and Premier League heads would also likely be called to appear.
Former England stars Peter Reid and Viv Anderson (pictured) are among the signatories calling for an urgent review into the possible link between heading a ball and dementia
Only last month, Greg Clarke was forced to resign as FA chairman following damaging comments made during a grilling by the committee.
The letters have also been signed by ex-Chelsea and QPR man Clive Wilson, former Spurs playmaker Vinny Samways, and ex-Hull City boss Phil Brown.
Doncaster manager Darren Moore is on the list, along with Mickey Ambrose, formerly of Charlton and Chelsea, who has co-ordinated the letter sent by players to Dowden.
The letter to Knight, demanding an inquiry, is signed by 18 politicians, including former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn and Conservative MP Peter Bone.