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Wife of former footballer blames the sport for his dementia

Wife of former footballer blames the sport for his dementia
3rd April 2014

The wife of a former professional footballer has claimed that he developed dementia through playing the game.

Chris Turner, who is 62 years old, was diagnosed with the condition in 2006 and currently resides in a care home, the BBC reports.

His wife Lynne has spoken out about how heading too many heavy footballs during his playing career could be the reason for his diagnosis.

She said: "[The FA] have really got to acknowledge that there is something going on.

"It's not for Chrissy, because he's never going to benefit. It's too late for him, but it's for kids now who are heading balls."

Mrs Turner is set to meet with the Football Association shortly, while the body has previously stated its plans to look into the issue.

Chris had a successful playing career that included turning out for teams such as Luton, Cambridge and, perhaps most notably, Peterborough United.

He then went on to manage the latter two after retiring in 1984.

As a defender, a key part of Chris' game was to head the ball away from his penalty area, while fighting for the ball in the air with his opponents was also a regular occurrence.

Mrs Turner spoke about the shock of hearing her husband had developed the disease at the age of 55: "We took him to the doctor. That's when they did a brain scan and said he'd got frontal lobe dementia caused by heading too many footballs. It's what boxers get."

She hinted at the sadness that comes with the fact that the sport he loved has essentially destroyed his life, stating that he wasn't the same person anymore.

It all started, she says, when her husband started complaining about violent headaches. He hasn't eaten, spoken or walked in about five years.

The FA recently announced that it would be speaking to organisations in sports that have higher frequencies of head injuries, to find the best way to safely play the game loved by so many.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes