Joe Kinnear’s family are among claimants in brain injury case

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Kinnear finished his managerial career at Newcastle United

  • author, Dan Rowan
  • Role, Sports editor

The family of the late Joe Kinnear and four players from the Premier League era are among a number of claimants who have taken legal action against football’s governing bodies over brain injuries they allegedly suffered during their careers.

The claimants – the former players and their families – allege that the defendants – FIFA, the Football Association, the English Football League and the Football Association of Wales – were negligent in failing to take reasonable measures to protect the players from permanent injury caused by repeated concussions. And concussion. Subconcussive blows.

The group alleges that despite this, the FA “failed to take action to reduce the risks to players to the lowest reasonable level” as stated in the “particulars of claim” in the High Court action and seen by the BBC.

The claimants are said to have suffered “long-term permanent neurological injuries” as a result of negligence by the football authorities.

In a statement to the BBC at the time, the FA said it was “not able to comment on ongoing legal proceedings” but that “we continue to play a leadership role in reviewing and improving the integrity of our game.”

More than 8,000 pages of medical records and pleadings were submitted by claimants ahead of Wednesday’s case management hearing.

Solicitor Richard Boardman, who represents 35 former footballers in the lawsuit, said: “Today’s hearing is the latest milestone in our campaign to seek justice for those who have not been protected by football’s governing bodies from suffering brain damage.”

“The sheer scale of the problem is demonstrated by the fact that we have provided over 8,000 pages of medical records and legal documents to the first 17 football claimants alone.”

The players or their families initiated their legal claim via correspondence two years ago.

This includes the family of Nobby Stiles, the 1966 World Cup winner, who died in 2020 and was suffering from prostate cancer and advanced dementia.

His brain injury was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a form of degenerative dementia thought to be caused by repeated blows.

A similar measure has been launched by former rugby league and former rugby union players in 2022.

Research in 2019 showed that former footballers were three and a half times more likely to die from dementia than the general population.

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