Former All Black prop Carl Hayman confirmed the players are preparing for a lawsuit
HOW PLAYING RUGBY DAMAGES THE BRAIN
Scientific studies over the past decade have established a clear link between repeated concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a degenerative brain disease that can lead to dementia.
Growing evidence of the potential dangers of head contact has led to heightened awareness of sports such as soccer, American football, boxing, and rugby.
Repeated blows to the head received on the field from collisions with other players in the case of rugby or from boxers taking blows are believed to be the cause of the irreversible damage.
Rugby Football Union – the governing body of the sport in England – admits that it poses “a significant potential risk of concussion”. It is said that there was an incident in three professional games. But it is said that the risk is much lower in amateur games.
Researchers found this year that young rugby players who repeatedly receive small blows to the head can develop subtle brain damage – even if they’re not serious enough to cause a concussion.
Scientists at Western University said their results add to existing evidence that even if a blow to the head doesn’t result in a concussion, it can cause brain damage in the long run.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow found in 2018 that former professional footballers – who lead heavy leather balls – are three and a half times more likely to die from degenerative brain disease.
The study, published in a prestigious medical journal, was launched after years of family campaigning by former West Brom and England star Jeff Astle, who died of dementia at the age of 59. Three of the eleven English players who started the World Cup final against West Germany – Peters, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson – were diagnosed with dementia.
The Rugby Football Union, Welsh Rugby Union and World Rugby could face legal prosecution from former players who suffered serious health problems related to head injuries during their careers.
A UK law firm is believed to have been instructed to act on behalf of around 70 former players – including former England and Wales internationals – who are seeking to sue governing bodies for damages after suffering the aftermath of clashes.
Although the process has not yet officially started, it is only a matter of time.
“We believe we are going to be dealing with an epidemic,” a source told The Daily Telegraph. ‘We envision that there will be hundreds if not thousands of players when we go public.
“We have six people we’re pretty worried about. You have severe symptoms that are strong indicators of early onset dementia. ‘
The action would be akin to a class concussion lawsuit that the NFL has devoured. Around 4,500 former American football players are suing the league in a group action.
The New Zealand Herald quoted former All Black prop Carl Hayman as saying, “As far as I know, it’s a pretty growing list of (players). I think it’s going to be something pretty substantial. ‘
A recent player in England told Sportsmail that the RFU’s policies and advice regarding concussion episodes have been under scrutiny.
Michael Lipman, the ex-Bath flanker, who won 10 caps for England between 2004 and 2008, suffers from symptoms of mild dementia at the age of only 40.
He now lives in Australia and estimates he has suffered 30 concussions during his career. He told the Sydney Morning Herald last month, “If I wasn’t completely knocked out, I kept playing.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, English former Lock Mouritz Botha, who had to retire due to a concussion, has confirmed he was involved in the group action, which reportedly includes rugby players.
The potential “epidemic” of these cases has created a flurry of health problems, including amnesia, depression and migraines.
Legal action in America received additional impetus when 99 percent of the brains of former NFL players were diagnosed with CTE in autopsies in the largest study of brain injuries in American football to date.
Boston University led the groundbreaking and ambitious research project to determine whether there was a direct link between field impact and neurodegenerative disease in players – including the late Aaron Hernandez.
They focused on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a poorly understood disease, progressive neurodegeneration associated with repetitive head trauma. It has been linked to ALS (also known as “locked-in syndrome”) and Alzheimer’s disease.
“In rugby, we find that there are 40-year-old men who are incredibly fit and physically active, but who have some very worrying symptoms such as severe memory loss and mood swings. ‘
Michael Lipman suffered 30 concussions during his career and is now 40 years old with mild dementia
Former All Blacks striker Geoff Old (right) has also contacted UK lawyers
Shocking new brain damage figures show that neurodegenerative diseases caused deaths of 42 percent of top footballers in the 1965-66 season
The new research the Mail did on Sunday just adds momentum to the campaign to further investigate the dangers of gambling and the headline in particular.
ENGLANDS 1966 HEROES FROM ALZHEIMER OR DEMENTIA
Six members of the English squad that won the World Cup, including Jack Charlton, have died of Alzheimer’s or dementia
Of England’s 22-man squad for the 1966 World Cup, 13 have died and six (or 46 percent) of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
The six 1966 players who die of Alzheimer’s and other dementias are goalkeeper Peter Bonetti, defenders Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton, Ray Wilson and Gerry Byrne, and midfielder Martin Peters. A seventh player, Sir Bobby, was recently diagnosed with dementia.
The conclusions of the mail on Sunday’s work were given by Dr. Willie Stewart, the world’s leading expert on the link between football and brain injury deaths, described it as “baffling” and “important”.
Dr. Stewart, a consulting neuropathologist based in Glasgow, led the largest study to date on the subject, published a year ago. He compared the causes of death of 7,676 former Scottish male professional footballers born between 1900 and 1976 with more than 23,000 people from the average population.
The new study Mail on Sunday focused specifically on the pool of 475 first-team players in the 22 clubs of England’s top league from 1965 to 1966.
Of this group, 185 have died to date, and at least 79 of them, or 42 percent, have died from neurodegenerative diseases or conditions associated with traumatic brain injury.
The vast majority of the 79 died of Alzheimer’s or other dementias, Parkinson’s or related diseases, or motor neuron diseases.
If a formal cause of death was some other medical condition, such as cancer or pulmonary embolism, but a player had suffered years of dementia, the mail on Sunday stated that those players had died of (if not from) dementia.
Of the 79 players known to have died from neurodegenerative diseases, the mean age at death was 74 years and the mean age was 75 years. This is also shocking. The probability that a British man will die from such a cause (across all age groups) is about 13 percent, ranging from about six percent in 70-year-olds to about 10 percent in 75-year-olds to about 25 percent cents in old age 90 years.