Football League questioned the dangers of heading in their own official journal… in 1966

EXCLUSIVE: More dementia shame for football’s governing bodies after the EFL’s official journal questioned the dangers of heading FIFTY FIVE years ago – with reports of players suffering from brain damage from as early as 1903

  • Sportsmail revealed FIFA knew about the suspected link to brain damage in 1984
  • More historical articles which highlight the perils of heading have come to light
  • In October 1966, the Football League Review — the Football League’s official journal — ran an article called ‘Danger in heading the ball?’
  • There are reports of players suffering from brain damage as early as 1903 

Yet more evidence emerged on Wednesday that football’s authorities failed to act on its dementia problem and protect their players, despite a century’s worth of warnings.

It comes after Sportsmail revealed FIFA knew about the suspected link to brain damage in 1984, when their own magazine highlighted the dangers of heading the ball. 

The world governing body’s lack of action after that article — entitled ‘How Dangerous Is Heading?’ — was widely criticised on Wednesday. 

More historical articles which highlight the perils of heading have come to light. In October 1966, the Football League Review ran an article called ‘Danger in heading the ball?’ 

Now more damning historical articles which highlighted the perils of heading have come to light.

In October 1966, the Football League Review — the Football League’s official journal — ran an article called ‘Danger in heading the ball?’ 

It said boxing was not the only sport with ‘punch drunks’, the condition known today as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Leicester City forward Derek Dougan is quoted as saying: ‘Time and again after a game I suffer from a headache, obviously from all the heading I do.’

An article published in FIFA's own magazine discusses the dangers of CTE from heading

An article published in FIFA’s own magazine discusses the dangers of CTE from heading

How Sportsmail broke the shocking news over FIFA's dementia shame on Wednesday

How Sportsmail broke the shocking news over FIFA’s dementia shame on Wednesday

There are reports of footballers suffering from brain damage as early as September 1903, when the Lincolnshire Echo revealed former West Brom striker Sam Nicholls was in a serious condition. 

‘He is suffering from an affection of the brain and this is the persistency with which he used to head the ball. Doctors say the practice is fraught with danger.’

The Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail also ran a story in February 1931 in which a 24-year-old’s death was put down to heading.

FIFA responded to Sportsmail revealing their article from 1984 by insisting that tackling brain damage in football was a top priority for them. 

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