More Concerns Raised Regarding Football Brain Injuries

Pressure Group Informed Of Further Cases Linked To Heading Heavy Footballs


The Justice For Jeff campaign group working to raise awareness and call for action on concerns that former footballers may have died from a condition linked to the heading of heavy leather footballs has been informed of further cases linked to the issue.

The family of former West Bromwich Albion star Jeff Astle is behind the campaign to raise awareness of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), after a coroner ruled the footballer suffered the condition as a result of heading balls during his playing career.

Now, they have revealed that they believe six members of the FA Cup-winning Aston Villa side of 1957 have approached them regarding concerns their loved ones suffered as result of the same issue.

The issue was investigated after the group were contacted by the daughter of the team’s captain Johnny Dixon, who passed away with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009.

Jeff Astle’s daughter, Claire, 35, told the Daily Mail: “Our concern is old players are being diagnosed with Alzheimer's when it is, in fact, CTE.”

News of the latest on the campaign came after the FA confirmed its plans to launch a study into head injuries suffered by former players.

Expert Opinion
The issue of head injuries and concussion in sport has been in the spotlight for much of the past year, which is a welcome development and emphasises the appetite to properly understand the issue as a whole.

"The Justice for Jeff campaign has worked tirelessly on the issue, specifically related to concerns of the consequences that heading heavy leather footballs may have had on those playing decades ago.

"Considering the circumstances of Jeff Astle’s case, it is unsurprising to see more cases emerge where former players may have suffered in the same manner.

"All of this emphasises why it is vital for the FA and medical experts to continue to work to research this issue and gain a greater understanding of the effect that head injuries in sport can have on competitors.

"It is ultimately vital that lessons are learned from the past so that standards of safety can be improved where possible in the future."
Ian Christian, Partner