By John Mcgarry For The Scottish Daily Mail
Published: 23:52 GMT, 31 October 2019 | Updated: 00:03 GMT, 1 November 2019
The Scottish Youth Football Association on Thursday night urged its member clubs to stop children aged 11 and under heading the ball in training as football takes stock of research into unusual levels of dementia in the game.
A study led by the University of Glasgow's Dr Willie Stewart last week outlined a higher-than-average instance of deaths from neurodegenerative disease in professional footballers.
Commissioned by the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association, Dr Stewart's report concluded that 'risk ranged from a five-fold increase in Alzheimer's disease, through an approximately four-fold increase in motor neurone disease, to a two-fold increase in Parkinson's disease in former professional footballers compared to population controls'.
The SYFA have urged member clubs to stop young players 11 and under from heading
While the findings did not establish a direct link between heading the ball and the higher-than-average instance of dementia in ex-players, there is obvious concern of the harm it may cause.
On Thursday, the SYFA, the organisation responsible for the grassroots of the game in Scotland, implored all of its member clubs to modify the way its players up to Under-11s level now train while advising that heading is eliminated from games where possible.
Florence Witherow, National Secretary of the SYFA, said: 'The SYFA has previously