Football

John Giles Condemns Treatment Of Ex-Pros Suffering With Alzheimer's

John Giles Condemns Treatment Of Ex-Pros Suffering With Alzheimer's

Writing today in The Times of the passing of the English World Cup-winner Ray Wilson, Oliver Kay described how an earlier meeting with the pioneering full-back played out:

There were moments of lucidity when we met, but talk of 1966 rang only the most distant bell. He recalled that Bobby Charlton had been his room-mate and he knew that Bobby Moore and Alan Ball had died, but he was reeling off names and facts, rather than retrieving memories. He could not recall anything about the World Cup, whether about Geoff Hurst's goals or the celebrations that followed.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I can't remember it."

Dying at 83-years of age, Wilson's final years were blighted by the inescapable spectre of Alzheimer's disease.

Speaking tonight on Off the Ball, John Giles, who often played against Wilson during their shared spell in the English top-flight, made an impassioned plea for greater care toward ex-professional footballers suffering from conditions caused - be it partially, or entirely - their professional career.

Giles' brother-in-law, Manchester United and England legend Nobby Stiles, is another notable figure who has suffered with the disease, but been denied the adequate treatment:

What is a concern for ex-players like Nobby is the lack of the offers of help from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) particularly.

I don't think it matters how they got the disease, [but] they should be looked after and treated much better than they have been.

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Condemning the English Football Association for not being proactive in their efforts to help, it was once again the PFA that the former Leeds United man singled out for criticism:

From what I know of the situation, [they] are certainly not proactive.

Conceding that it will take "an awful long time" before direct correlations can be made between heading a football, and the onset of Alzheimer's disease, Giles feels that "some sort of inquiry" is essential so as to help the people in need.

See Also: World Cup Snub The Latest Indignity In Joe Hart's Descent To The Bottom

Arthur James O'Dea

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