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THE Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has called on the game’s stakeholders to introduce an industry-wide care fund to help former players living with dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Four of England’s World Cup winners — Ray Wilson, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles — all died after suffering from dementia, and it was announced last November that Sir Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with the illness.
In 2019, a PFA and FA-funded study found that ex-professional Scottish footballers born between 1900 and 1976 had around 3.5 times increased risk of having dementia as a cause of death.
After months of talks with senior figures at the FA, the Premier League and the EFL, as well as football families living with dementia, the PFA is close to agreeing a draft action.
PFA chief executive Maheta Molango said: “I have been pleased to see how all the English football organisations have been working on a joint approach to this issue.
“It’s great that the entire football family has come together to raise awareness of neurodegenerative conditions, improve education about these illnesses and crucially, find ways to support current and former players living with or at risk of dementia and other conditions.
“The PFA will always be an advocate for former players living with neurodegenerative conditions and their families, so now we must consult with them before finalising the parameters of our joint action plan to ensure PFA members have access to the best care possible.”
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