Premier League and the PFA launch football’s dementia fund – with £1m initially made available to help former players and their families who struggle with neurodegenerative diseases

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Premier League and the PFA launch football’s dementia fund – with £1m initially made available to help former players and their families who struggle with neurodegenerative diseases

  • Ex-footballers are much more likely to die from dementia than the general public
  • Football’s dementia fund has been launched to help ex-players and their families
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off 

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Football’s dementia fund is now officially open – with an initial £1million made available to help former players and their families who are struggling with neurodegenerative diseases.

The long-awaited fund is being led by the Premier League and the PFA and they hope to create a new charity involving other football stakeholders such as the FA and EFL which will oversee this long-term vehicle for support. Conversations are still ongoing surrounding that.

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Former professional footballers who have been members of the PFA and have been diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease can now apply for financial support. Applications will then be assessed by an independent panel led by Steve Jamieson, who is a trustee of Dementia UK and chair of Dementia UK Admiral Nurses Clinical Committee.

This comes after the Daily Mail launched our ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign demanding that families of former professional footballers living with dementia receive financial support. Research has long shown that ex-players are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from dementia than members of the general public.

Maheta Molango, chief executive of the PFA, said: ‘This is an important step forward in the way football provides practical support to former players who develop dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. It’s an issue where, in all areas, we continue to believe there needs to be a football-wide responsibility.

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Football’s dementia fund is now officially open – with an initial £1million made available to help former players and their families who are struggling with neurodegenerative diseases

Maheta Molango, chief executive of the PFA, welcome the fund as an 'important step forward'

Maheta Molango, chief executive of the PFA, welcome the fund as an ‘important step forward’ 

‘That includes providing access to financial support for former players and the families who most need it. The Premier League deserve credit for the proactive way in which they have approached these discussions. Obviously, we hope that other stakeholders in the game will choose to contribute to the fund going forward.’

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, added: ‘The welfare and care of players has always been a priority for the Premier League, and we feel it is important to offer our support to this newly established brain health fund. The fund builds on our long-standing partnership with the PFA and strengthens our collective support for former players facing health challenges.’

The PFA’s dementia department – which was another successful demand from the Daily Mail’s ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign – will continue to act as the central point of contact for former players and their families to seek advice and support.

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, explained how the fund outlined the top flight's commitment to helping former players who face significant health challenges

Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, explained how the fund outlined the top flight’s commitment to helping former players who face significant health challenges

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