The duty of care to past, currently and future members is the foundation stone on which the PFA is built. This is why the potential threat to players from neurological problems later in life, such as dementia, has been on the union’s agenda for the last 20 years. This threat has been linked to concussions, head injuries and heading the ball and despite previous research commissioned by the PFA since 2001, no conclusive link between dementia and football has ever been found. Until October 2018 that is, when the study ‘Football’s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk’ was published. Led by the world-leading concussion expert Dr Willie Stewart at Glasgow University and co-funded by the PFA and FA the FIELD study found that former professional footballers were 3-5 times more likely to die from dementia or neurological disease then the rest of the matched population.
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