BBC airs Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football and Me

Last night's BBC 1 documentary showed former England international Alan Shearer investigating the potentially devastating link between football and dementia.

  Credit: BBC The one-hour documentary, available on iPlayer, examined recent scientific reports from around the world. These revealed that the link between football and dementia could be a result of brain damage caused by heading the ball. Recent reports show a number of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team suffer from dementia (three of the nine surviving members) – this led to the former Newcastle forward exploring football’s potential links with brain injury. Shearer discussed the issue with footballing legends, investigated the latest scientific research from Britain and turned himself over to science – before taking his finding to the football authorities. Former England captain Shearer remains the Premier League’s all-time top scorer, with 46 of those goals from headers alone. Both The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph reviewed the programme. The Guardian described Shearer as “serious, engaged and engaging” and said the programme was a “fascinating investigation.” The Telegraph agreed, calling it “A thoughtful sports science documentary” and reported the film’s conclusion where Shearer stated: “We need to embrace and fund research. Football must also look after former players with dementia and put an end to the feeling that once you’ve stopped playing, you’re thrown on the scrapheap. It’s a tough game. It’s known as the beautiful game. Let’s make sure it’s not a killer game.”  Watch the programme here.
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