Sir Geoff Hurst is afraid of getting dementia as the number of former England players who have died because of dementia has been increasing lately.
World Cup winners Ray Wilson, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton, and Nobby Stiles have all died because of dementia.
Sir Bobby Charlton has also been diagnosed with the neurological disease recently.
As the number of former England players who have died because of dementia has been increasing,
Sir Geoff Hurst
has become more worried about himself.
He is also bidding to raise funds for the
“Prior to all of this happening, I’ve always felt that when you get to this sort of age life is always a bit of a lottery,” Hurst said.
“That has always been my genuine honest feeling of how I felt of people living to this age.
“But more recently when there has been a lot more focus on it and so many players in my team, it does cross your mind to an extent that it could happen (to me).
“It’s not something that, up until more recently, I focused on at all. I just felt life’s a lottery and you get what comes, it could be anything.
“More research is needed, quite frankly, between the links between heading footballs and dementia.
“But I’ve also felt – without any science knowledge – that it seemed to be a high proportion of people in my immediate team, compared with the guy in the street.”
Last year a study published that footballers were three and a half times more likely to die of the neurodegenerative disease than other people of a similar age.
Hurst recently said that he would be willing to donate his brain to science in order to help research.
He is also troubled by football’s current treatment of head injuries, referring to Sunday’s clash of heads between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez.
“We saw David Luiz, a nasty clash, bandages his head and goes back on the field and I read he drives himself home,” Hurst said.
“It’s up to clubs within the sports industry to get together and start looking very closely at these issues.
“If a tough player wants to get back on the field after a head injury, then the medical people need to say, ‘No, you’re coming off, that’s it’.”
Hurst has established a crowdfunding venture named
. Fans can pay to watch a color version of England’s 4-2 extra-time win over West Germany at Wembley, in which Hurst scored a hat-trick. It will be released next year on the 55th anniversary of the game on July 30.
Hurst hopes he could aid investigation into dementia through #fullcolour66.
“It’s one of the greatest sporting moments we’ve had in this country ever,” he said.
“It’s the world’s number one sport, it’s our country’s number one sport, it’s the only time we have achieved it and it’s disappointing that the actual match is in black and white.
“It doesn’t do the game justice in many respects. And also it doesn’t do justice to the individual players who played, some of the greats we have lost recently.
“To pay homage to some of the great players, great characters – (Gordon) Banks, (Bobby) Moore, (Bobby) Charlton, (Jimmy) Greaves, Nobby Stiles, Ray Wilson, Martin (Peters) – it would be great for them.”