Former football star and Ex-Southend United Captain Adam Barrett says that as a pro footballer he headed the ball up to 100 times a week. However, insists ‘life’s too short’ to be worried about a possible link between heading and dementia.
“I used to head the ball on average 60-100 times a week. But, life’s too short as it is to start worrying about what might happen. I could get dementia without ever heading a ball.”
However, Barrett agrees that more research needs to be done to prove the impact heading a ball may have.
“I think more research needs to be done to confirm if there’s a strong link between heading a football and dementia.”
Defender Barrett, who made over 300 appearances for the Blues, also expressed how the rise in this issue, despite the lack of research, doesn’t worry him because he was able to have the chance to play the game he loves.
“This would not worry me or change the way I played, football is a game I enjoyed, and I know there’s risk of injury, but I believe in doing things for now.”
This is an issue that many believed to have been ignored since Alan Shearer’s documentary, ‘Football Dementia and Me’, investigation the subject was aired last weekend. In the documentary, Alan Shearer, who is the Premier-League’s top ever goalscorer, explored how he believed there isn’t enough awareness, something that Adam Barrett agreed with.
“I think there could be more awareness, so that people know the risks.”
The link between Dementia and heading a football has started becoming a bigger issue after the number of ex-footballers that are being diagnosed with the disease later in life.
The includes over three players who were part of Tottenham’s double-winning team in 1960-61 as well as at least three players from England’s 1966 winning World Cup team. The most famous being ex-England striker Jeff Astle of which an inquest into his death revealed he died form Dementia caused by heading footballs. This started the investigation into how much damaged heading a football can cause.
Dementia UK refused to comment on this issue.