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Calls are growing for the football industry to fund to support for former players with dementia

The demands come after a Crowdfunding page was set up to help pay the care costs for Blackburn Rovers legend Tony Parkes whose family are struggling to fund care.

The former player, coach and manager, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2019 but faces an uncertain future after the family’s entire savings were wiped out by the costs of his residential care.

His daughter, Natalie Parkes-Thompson, has always been convinced that her father’s job - and the repeated heading of footballs - caused his condition and that belief was reinforced following research which showed that former professionals are five times more likely to die of Alzheimer’s.

There is, however, still no industry fund to assist hundreds of former players facing huge associated care costs and, more than two years after being submitted, an application to recognise dementia in football as an industrial disease is still being considered by Government scientific advisors.


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