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Gardner's Books

The Beautiful Game and the Ugly Truth : Football'S Tragic Link with Dementia

The Beautiful Game and the Ugly Truth : Football'S Tragic Link with Dementia

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The Beautiful Game and The Ugly Truth: Football's Tragic Link to Dementia is an emotive examination of the world's most popular sport and its ties to a devastating disease. In 2002, a coroner ruled Jeff Astle's death at the age of 59 was the result of heading footballs. His daughter, Dawn, says football does not believe it can be a killer - but that her father's death certificate proves it can be.

Evidence of its impact continues to pile up, 20 years after Jeff's passing. In 2019, Dr Willie Stewart's groundbreaking FIELD study found former footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely than the general population to die of a neurodegenerative disease. In 2020, Sir Bobby Charlton became the fifth member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning side to be diagnosed with dementia.

Countless families have seen loved ones slip away from them. Modern professional players are fearing for their futures, too, as experts explain why it is wrong to lay the blame on those old heavy leather footballs.
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