A group of former footballers and politicians have called for a review into the possible link between heading and diseases that affect people’s mental abilities such as dementia.
A letter addressed to culture secretary Oliver Dowden has been signed by nine ex-players.
It asks government to assess if current heading guidelines are suitable too.
Ex-footballers are three-and-a-half-times more likely to die of dementia than the general population.
Five members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad have been diagnosed with dementia, including Nobby Stiles, who died in October.
Led by former Chelsea and Charlton player Mickey Ambrose, the letter has been signed by Peter Reid, Phil Brown, Viv Anderson, Darren Moore, Clive Wilson, Dean Wilkins, Vinny Samways and Mark McCammon.
“We are writing to you as former professional footballers, who have played at all levels of the game, including representing our country,” the letter reads.
“Last year saw the publication of a landmark study that sought to identify whether there was any link between heading the ball and an increase in the incidence of degenerative neurocognitive disease.
“While the report said there was no definitive link, it confirmed that players were three-and-a-half times more likely to die of dementia and other neurological diseases than the general population.
“Following the study’s publication, the FA in parallel with Uefa’s medical committee published new guidelines that apply to all young players.
“Measures included a complete prohibition of header training for children below the age of 12 and a graduated process to headers thereafter.
“We welcome these measures but believe they do not go far enough.”
A similar letter, signed by a cross-party group of MPs and peers, has been sent to Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.