Steve Bruce has spoken out about dementia concerns that he has, following Alan Shearer’s documentary linking heading footballs to dementia.
Bruce has told Birmingham Mail that he will get himself tested for the early stages of the disease.
Bruce was known in his career as a solid centre-back who was well known for heading the ball, famously scoring two headers in stoppage time for Manchester United against Sheffield Wednesday which saw the Red Devils lift the first Premier League trophy.
Bruce spoke out following the BBC documentary, “Dementia, football and me”, saying (via Birmingham Mail):
When I was playing, head injuries seemed to happen every week – but you just got on with it.
But I was always getting head wounds. And when I think about it I reckon I should get myself checked out.
The documentary was put on after the death of former West Bromwich Albion player Jeff Astle, who died due to a brain trauma caused by heading footballs.
Of course, the footballs headed by Astle were the old leather balls, which when wet, really hurt when heading. Bruce played in an era of more modern lighter balls.
In the documentary, Shearer, who headed 46 Premier League goals, a record only recently surpassed by Peter Crouch, went for tests to see the link with his heading and his reaction times.
Jeff Astle’s daughter, Dawn, said about the tests and the documentary:
It was obviously an experience for him. And hopefully it will open a few eyes.
It certainly opened Steve Bruce’s eyes. The former defender has seen himself with the concern about football and dementia.