Gordon Taylor responds to Chris Sutton’s ‘blood on hands’ accusation over sport’s link to dementia

The former Blackburn and Celtic striker accused Taylor and the PFA of “turning their backs on a massive issue”

Jack Rathborn
Assistant Sports Editor
@JackRathborn
Wednesday 24 March 2021 11:11
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Gordon Taylor maintains the PFA do more on the issue of demential and brain injuries than other bodies
Gordon Taylor maintains the PFA do more on the issue of demential and brain injuries than other bodies

Gordon Taylor has rejected Chris Sutton’s accusation that the PFA chief executive has “blood on his hands” after “hundreds of players” have died as a result of dementia.

The former Blackburn and Celtic striker’s father, Mike, died on Boxing Day after 10-year battle with dementia.

And Sutton, who met with MPs last week to discuss the links between the sport and brain injury as a result of repetitive heading, claimed the FA and PFA “ignored, shunned and turned their backs on a massive issue”, while insisting “Taylor has blood on his hands”.

But the PFA chief has hit back by claiming the body has “done more than any other players union, sporting union or trade union on this issue”.

A statement from Taylor to BBC Sport read: “During four decades at the PFA, we have always looked to help not only our current members but our approximately 50,000 former members when they have requested our support for whatever reason. 

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“Such support was offered personally to Chris Sutton for his father, together with an invitation to our offices to see at first hand the work done, the lobbying done, the research done, the support available, the changes to regulations and medical rules in dealing with concussion and possible short and long term consequences of repetitive heading.

“The invitation was never taken up but nevertheless, I believe we have done more than any other players union, sporting union or trade union on this issue when this is also a worldwide problem for governments and all populations, health services and neurologists alike.

“A co-ordinated approach is necessary and we will continue to lobby for that and continue to address it whilst mindful of the many beneficial effects and well-being that fitness and sport bring to our lives.”

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