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The Premier League Thread

May 1, 2015

Cowie inspired to act by two-hour meeting with Astle family

It was in April 2016 that Charlotte Cowie was appointed to the position of head of medicine at the Football Association and, within a month, she received an unexpected request. “Martin Glenn [the FA chief executive] phoned me and said, ‘What’s happening with the concussion research’,” explained Cowie. “I thought I was looking after England teams. He was pushing for it. I met the Astle family and that was what ignited my interest.”

The meeting with Dawn and Laraine Astle, respectively the daughter and widow of former England striker Jeff Astle, would last for two hours. The Astle family had been promised research after an inquest ruled in 2002 that Jeff had died of industrial disease following a career spent heading footballs. Laraine always instinctively knew that her husband “could not be the only one” but, after forming the Jeff Astle Foundation charity, had since discovered what seemed like an epidemic.

And yet where was the action?

The Astles had grown weary and felt that the issue was being “swept under the carpet” but immediately sensed that Cowie just might deliver. “The meeting with Dawn and Laraine galvanised me - you can’t underestimate the difference it makes to meet people really passionate - asking questions, querying or offering support,” said Cowie. “Having met with them it seemed reasonable we should push on it - it does require push and quite a lot of political will to get this sort of thing through.”

Cowie has promised that it will remain a huge personal and organisational priority and says there is also a desire to spark wider understanding across the football world.

“Every sport has a risk, people need to go into a sport knowing the risk," she says. "That is the responsibility of the national governing body to give you that information and then you can make an informed decision. Most people would still go ahead because they enjoy it, they will live longer, still get the health benefits, social benefits and all the other benefits which we know you get from playing football regularly. But it’s important not to shy away from it.”

In that, the FA are now also inviting research proposals which examine the incidence and risk of neurological disease or injury across women’s football, the grassroots game and youth football. There is currently no data on these groups. “These are concerns that people contact us with now,” said Cowie. “They understand that there is a risk in professional football, but they ask, ‘What about my child? What about if I have played non-league all my life, am I also at risk?’ We don’t know [but] we have extended the question out.”


Oct 27, 2017
This is stupid. I understand in professional sport you make this rule from top league + some additional nuances. But this manager and coaches we are talking about. I mean, if want to apply for UK work permit I have to really be working previously in the TOP 5 tech companies or in TOP 5 most developed country to join?


Jul 23, 2014
Is it just me or are the people in charge of VAR in england poor? I mean even the TV stations show better and more angles of the incident than the VAR to the on-field ref....
May 1, 2015
Quite enjoyed this season all things considered
Seriously? I mean Utd taking advantage of a perfect storm aside, you’re enjoying football right now?

I mean you watch your teams games as they are playing. But its far more force of habit without much enjoyment under the current circumstances. Its been the worst season of my lifetime without a shadow of a doubt and probably fair to say in the entire history of the game.

Never known one like it.

For all the jealous opposition bunkum of the asterisk after our name last year, this year is crying out for that.

From no fans leading to most games being like watching glorified training matches. Through actual laws of the game changing mid-season/ agreed pre-season COVID rules on when a game can be postponed being COMPLETELY ignored/ VAR getting worse by the passing week/ Europe becoming a complete farce with a slew of neutral venue ties, and all points n between; this has been the biggest joke of a season theres ever been.

But hey ho. Money rules and all that so we have to play out the continued farce.
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Staff member
Jan 27, 2010
"Liverpool's depth is unmatched in the Premier League and they have the winning mentality and experience to go with it, so they will take some shifting from the position they now find themselves in at the top"

Bit early on that one lad.
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May 1, 2015
Pretty much. And then the injury list from **** happened to leave back-up to the depth playing.

Congratulations. We'll see you again next season to battle it out again. Or this one in Europe maybe?
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