Families of dementia victims urge MPs to question Gordon Taylor about PFA doing nothing for brain diseases

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Gordon Taylor comes under fire when families of demented victims – led by Nobby Stiles ‘son – urge MPs to question outgoing PFA chief about the organization’s lack of action against soccer players’ brain diseases

  • MPs have been urged to question Gordon Taylor about how PFA is dealing with dementia
  • Families of players who have died of brain disease feel that PFA has abandoned members
  • A letter to the government was written by the late Nobby Stiles’ son
  • The statement distinguishes Taylor’s claims about PFA’s efforts to address the disease

The family of former soccer players who have died of dementia has written a letter to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee calling for PFA chief Gordon Taylor to be picked up for questioning.

The letter – written by John Stiles, the son of late 1966 World Cup hero Nobby, and seen by Sportsmail – explains why they feel the PFA and its chief executive have abandoned members. It claims that players “ get help if they are friends with Taylor or his cronies’ ‘and says there is evidence that families’ pleas are being ignored.

Regarding the union, it adds, “It has been synonymous with scandal and cronyism for years and it is clear that this abuse of power by Taylor is at the heart of the dementia scandal.”

Families of football dementia victims have begged MPs to question PFA chief Gordon Taylor about organization's lack of action against brain diseases

Families of football dementia victims have begged MPs to question PFA chief Gordon Taylor about organization’s lack of action against brain diseases

When the DCMS committee confirmed its investigation into concussion in sports, it was announced that two sessions would be held.

The second of those sessions took place on Tuesday, and although the FA, RFU and World Rugby chiefs were called for questioning, no one appeared on behalf of the PFA.

When we asked if there was room for a third session – possibly with Taylor involved – we were told that the decision should be made by the full committee.

Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton, whose father, Mike, died of dementia in December, has also put his name on the letter, addressed to DCMS chairman Julian Knight and his fellow committee members.

The son of former England star Nobby Stiles - who died of dementia last year - wrote the letter to the government

The son of former England star Nobby Stiles - who died of dementia last year - wrote the letter to the government

The son of former England star Nobby Stiles – who died of dementia last year – wrote the letter to the government

Sportsmail's Chris Sutton, who is also a father of the disease, put his name literally

Sportsmail's Chris Sutton, who is also a father of the disease, put his name literally

Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton, who is also a father of the disease, put his name literally

The emotionally charged letter unwraps a statement Taylor released to the BBC this week claiming his union was the best in the world at tackling dementia.

In response, the letter states, “Taylor offers no evidence to support his claims that he has done more than any other union. He provides no evidence that any tangible progress has been made. He does not give details of what such efforts entailed. He tries to avoid blame by referring to the magnitude of the issue. ‘

It adds, “The PFA should have been the leaders in this campaign. They have completely failed to comply with their moral and legal obligations. ‘

The PFA told Sportsmail: ‘The PFA welcomes the investigation by MPs from the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport into the link between sports and long-term brain injury. As a players association, we were not called to either session.

MPs lead a study into the link between sports and long-term brain injury

MPs lead a study into the link between sports and long-term brain injury

MPs lead a study into the link between sports and long-term brain injury

However, it is vital to add the collective voice of our members to this groundbreaking research.

“Together with fellow athletes’ unions, we will submit a written submission to the committee and hope that our contribution can help make football and other sports as safe as possible.”

For the 2021-22 season, limits will be introduced for the number of times a player can head the ball in training – in another victory for Sportsmail’s fight against dementia.

The Premier League confirmed on Friday that the Liverpool and Manchester City women’s and youth teams will wear special mouthguards during practice to assess the impact on the ball.

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