PFA to launch task force to examine links between football and dementia
The issue has been cast into the spotlight after a spate of recent dementia diagnoses among retired footballers
The Professional Footballers' Association has announced that it will create a task force to examine the links between the game and brain injury diseases.
The players' union, which has been led by controversial chairman Gordon Taylor for almost three decades and has repeatedly been accused of ignoring the links between football and brain disease, is set to reach out to a number of prominent figures, including the family of former England and West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle.
Astle, who played more than 400 matches in his professional career from 1959 to 1977, died in 2002 at the age of 59. He had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease years prior.
Following his death, Astle's family established the Jeff Astle Foundation, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of brain injury in all sports and helping those afflicted.
The foundation has repeatedly called on the authorities of English football to take seriously the links between the game and brain disease.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton had been diagnosed with dementia. The news came less than a month after his former club and international teammate Nobby Stiles died from the disease.