Dementia: You Have Been Deceived! Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton fires back at outgoing PFA chief Gordon Taylor
You have been deceived! Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton fires back at outgoing PFA chief Gordon Taylor in dementia feud after claiming players union is ‘the best in the world’ at tackling illness
Outgoing PFA chief Gordon Taylor has been accused of ‘delusion’ and ‘missing the point’ after claiming on Wednesday that his union is the best in the world at tackling dementia.
After criticizing him at a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, Taylor defended himself and his union BBC in a statement, “I believe we have done more than any other players’ union, sports union or union in this field, while this is also a global problem for governments and all populations, health services and neurologists.”
But Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton, who testified Tuesday before a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee accusing Taylor of having “ blood on his hands ” for ignoring the matter after Jeff Astle’s death in 2002, slammed back, saying, ‘He must have been misguided into commenting on what happened before the DCMS committee on Tuesday by saying that the PFA is the best union in the world in addressing this issue. It’s a total delusion. ‘
Chris Sutton addressed Gordon Taylor’s defense on how the PFA tackles dementia
Outgoing PFA chief Taylor has been criticized for failing to adequately address the issue
Taylor described the PFA as “the best in the world” at tackling dementia and the risks of headlines
Astle’s daughter, Dawn, thought an investigation was underway between the PFA and FA after a coroner stated that her father had died at the age of 59 as a result of heading the ball. It wasn’t until 12 years later, in 2014, then Sportsmail journalist Sam Peters contacted Dawn to find that the study had been delayed.
Taylor added in his BBC statement that he had invited Sutton to the PFA offices to see the work they are doing – an invitation that was not accepted – and that their members are always the top priority.
In response, Sutton, whose father Mike died in December after suffering from dementia, told me Sportsmail Wednesday: ‘With his statement, Gordon completely missed the point.
Sutton believes Taylor’s defense is not fair to campaigners such as Dawn Astle, who was recently appointed to an advisory role by the PFA in an important step toward tackling dementia.
Sutton’s father, Mike, who was an ex-footballer, died last year after a long battle with dementia
He does not accept any responsibility in that statement.
Instead, he tells everyone what a great job he has done. How do you think Dawn Astle will feel when you read that? Or John Stiles? Or Mark Phoenix? Or Penny Watson? All of these people have come forward with their stories.
By saying this is a ‘global problem’, he is shaking off the money.
Gordon says the PFA has offered me personal assistance with my father. There was a phone call once and nothing came of it. That 12-year period when Dawn was unaware that the investigation into the link between football and head trauma had stopped was a catastrophic error of judgment.
Think where we could have been with research now, or how many lives could possibly have been saved if it hadn’t been swept under the rug. That’s why I said there is blood on his hands. ‘
Sportsmails The dementia campaign started last November and has received the support of former footballers and MPs