Did anyone see the programme presented by alan Shearer on Sunday night? Dementia & football: PFA tells Alan Shearer it is unsure on numbers. Essentially, there seems to be a link between heading the ball, especially when young, and dementia in later life. The theory goes that knocking the brain around as a child and young adult will cause damage - which seems obvious to me.
The reaction in the States has been to ban heading the ball for children under 11 (although carrying hand guns and automatic rifles seems to be fine, but that's another argument).
I have two young boys. The oldest plays rugby pretty much exclusively. That's his interest. He does the other sports at school when he has to, but all he really cares about is rugby. There are a host of issues there and that game at youth level ha changed massively since I was a kid.
My youngest boy plays rugby but also plays a lot of football. He scored a headed goal just the other day. So, should we tighten up the rules on heading the ball in football. Feel free to open this up to other sports in which your kids participate.
The whole programme (about an hour long) can be found here on iPlayer. I thought it was a well put together programme, balancing the science with personal stories and interviews with people like John Terry and Les Ferdinand. Shearer is a good presenter and has a chat with Chris Nicholl about when he managed Southampton and shearer was starting his career.
(Be ready, though. These guys may have loads of money but the old adage is true - you can't buy taste and that applies to home furnishings as much as anything else!)