Home Football English Football Alan Shearer Raises Fears Of Dementia Due To Heading In Football

Alan Shearer Raises Fears Of Dementia Due To Heading In Football

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 05: Newcastle striker Alan Shearer celebrates after scoring in the 77th minute as Sunderland goalkeeper Lionel Perez is left stranded during the FA Premier League match at St James' Park on April 5, 1997 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, the goal cancelled out Michael Gray's first half effort to leave the match at 1-1 (Photo by Stu Forster/Allsport/Getty Images)

The Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer is alarmed at the perceived lack of interest in the epidemic by football authorities.

In a show for the BBC this coming weekend, Alan Shearer underwent tests to examine if he is at risk of developing dementia, the degenerative brain affliction.

That conversation has wreaked havoc in other sports such as boxing, American football, rugby, and in professional wrestling, as a strain known as CTE has come to prominence.

Soccer, however, is only now coming to grips with the consequences of the sport in regards to long-term health. As Shearer, who won the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995, told The Mirror, the game in Britain needs to address the situation.

“Nowhere near enough research has been done. The authorities have been very reluctant to find out any answers. They have swept it under the carpet, which is not good enough,” he warned.

“Football must look after old players with dementia and put an end to this sense that once you are done playing, you can be put on the scrapheap. It’s a tough game, it’s a brilliant game, but we have to make sure it’s not a killer game. 

“For every goal I scored with a header during a game, I must have practised it 1,000 times in training. That must put me at risk if there is a link.

“So the tests were pretty nerve-wracking. I have got a terrible memory. I don’t know if that is because I don’t listen, but I have got a poor memory.”

The case of Shearer’s mentor Chris Nicholl, former Northern Ireland manager, is also examined in the documentary.

“I am brain damaged from heading footballs. My memory is in trouble,” Nicholl states.

“Everyone forgets regular things, where your keys are. But when you forget where you live, that’s different. I’ve had that for the last four or five years, it is definitely getting worse. It bothers me.”

Shearer said: “It was tough to see the way Chris is now, because he gave me my debut. He had me heading 100 or 150 balls a day to improve, but he did it for the right reasons.”

U.S Soccer authorities banned under-10s and restricted u-13s from heading the ball in 2015 due to concussion fears. The PFA in England lobbied the FA last year to implement similar restrictions, though the latter have yet to implement such a move.

The PFA were also criticised for their inaction per The Mirror, however.

Alan Shearer, Dementia, Football and Me will be shown on BBC1 this Sunday at 10:30pm.

About Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.