Frank Lampard has called for “every kind of support” to be given to former footballers who are suffering with dementia and said he would back further restrictions on heading in the junior game, provided they are supported by science.
The Chelsea head coach said he is “greatly concerned” by the dementia crisis among former players and the pain it is causing their families.
The issue has been brought into sharper focus this week following the death of Nobby Stiles and the diagnosis of Sir Bobby Charlton with the disease.
“It is something that concerns me greatly,” Lampard said. “The first action that should be taken is to make sure we give every kind of support to every ex-player that is suffering in any terms with dementia or anything like that, that could be related to football.
“We know there have been looks into this, related back to players over the years. Great players, household names that made this country win the World Cup in 1966.
“Any player, and I’m not just talking about Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles — I’m talking about any player — we have to support them first and foremost because clearly there’s something going on there which is now causing a lot of suffering for families.
“I will be very happy to put my name to it, to speak up for it, because these great players of our time, people I look up to hugely now, we have to support them big time. It’s a big deal for me.”
Lampard, whose grandmother had dementia, took part in a campaign with the Alzheimer’s Society during his playing career. His father, Frank Lampard Snr, was a team-mate of World Cup-winner Martin Peters, who died in 2019 after living with dementia.