FA renews partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

The Football Association has renewed its partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society for a fourth year.

The partnership started in August 2021 and has been renewed up to July 2025 amid concerns that professional footballers could be at a greater risk of dementia when head impacts occur, including heading a ball.

A study in 2017 into the brains of former footballers with memory problems found that most had signs of dementia, and all had signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to the charity, which points out that footballers without memory problems were not studied.

A further study two years also found a link between professional footballers and dementia. This compared the causes of death of more than 7,600 former Scottish players against 230,000 people from the general population. This found footballers have three and a half times higher rate of death due to neurodegenerative disease than expected.

The FA and charity’s link up so far has raised more than £870,000 for dementia support.

In January this year the charity and the FA launched a ‘support the supporters’ campaign across matches taking place during the FA Cup fourth round to encourage fans to seek an early diagnosis. This almost doubled visits to the charity’s symptom’s checklist.

“In the last year of the partnership, Alzheimer’s Society and The FA have been working to raise awareness of dementia and the importance of diagnosis,” said the footballing body.

“A timely diagnosis can allow families more time to plan for the future and unlock the door to treatment, care and support.”

Partnership activities have also included the England men’s team wearing nameless shirts to draw attention to memory loss. This saw visits to the charity’s symptoms checklist website increase seven fold.

“We are thrilled to continue our fantastic work with The FA,” said Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society chief executive.

“Football has the power to change lives and this partnership has allowed us to reach so many new people over the last three years. We are determined to use this unique platform to continue striving for a future where football is unforgettable.”

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham added: “Extending our partnership with Alzheimer’s Society for a fourth year is a testament to the significant impact we have made together.

"We are incredibly proud to work so closely with a charity at the forefront of tackling the UK’s forgotten crisis.

"Dementia touches the lives of so many, including millions of football fans, and it is our privilege to support such an important cause. We look forward to the year ahead and continuing to make a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia."

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