Concussion in football: Former York City defender Daniel Parslow calls for urgent action
Daniel Parslow: "Strike while the iron is hot. I'd like football to stand up and realise how serious these concussion and dementia issues are"
Last Updated: 23/10/19 3:42pm
Former York City defender Daniel Parslow has called on football authorities to introduce concussion substitutions as soon as possible, and has welcomed the findings of a new study which revealed a link between football and dementia.
In February, Parslow suffered what he thought was "an innocuous knock to the head" during a National League North game against Hereford.
Having passed initial on-pitch medical checks, Parslow returned to the action before a delayed onset of vision loss and nausea.
He was later diagnosed with severe concussion that led to a lengthy spell on the sidelines before eventually forcing the 34-year-old into retirement.
On Monday, a new report - commissioned by the Football Association (FA) and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) - found that former footballers are approximately three and a half times more likely to die from neurodegenerative disease than the general population.
"The results show what everybody has assumed," Parslow said. "I think it's a start and a good step.
"I think more research needs to be done to assess players in the current game but it's a step in the right direction.
"Concussion substitutions would be a fantastic step, for sure."
An FA statement released on Monday recognised the study's recommendation for a re-issue of the current concussion guidelines and said a letter has been sent to both FIFA and UEFA offering "full support on future research".
Parslow has urged those authorities to "strike while the iron is hot".
"It's got the topic of conversation going, which is fantastic," he said. "I'd like football to stand up and realise how serious these concussion and dementia issues are.
"I think they need to take a leaf out of other sports. In NFL, rugby union and rugby league, they have proper windows for players to get assessed.
"I think this should be introduced into football. In my instance, my symptoms would have been picked up and I wouldn't have returned to play.
"For a long time, there was a bit of a stigma attached to concussion. Back in the day if you got a bump to the head, the macho thing to do was to shake it off and get on with it. Concussion was not taken seriously.
"When you're in the game and working hard to forge a career, you have your eyes on the prize.
"It's only since I've learned more about the impact of head injuries that you become more aware of the dangers."
Ryan Giggs and Daniel James came under fierce criticism from brain injury charity Headway earlier this month after the Wales boss labelled the Manchester United winger "streetwise" for staying down when he was clattered by Domagoj Vida in the draw with Croatia.
The 21-year-old passed concussion protocols but Headway were unhappy that James stayed on the pitch, despite appearing to lose consciousness.
"Being a player who has gone through this concussion, I was disappointed," said Parslow.
"At the highest level, there is a lot at stake but at the same time, players feigning injuries, in particular head injuries, it's a dangerous precedent. You can't risk these sort of things."
As for former Wales U21 international Parslow, he is feeling "a hell of a lot better" and was awarded a special benefit match at York City earlier this month, with the club honouring his 12-year service over two spells.
"It's a slow journey but I feel back to my normal self. I feel fit and emotionally back to where I was before," he added.
"These concussion injuries knock everything out of kilter. It's been a long old road but I'm definitely on the right track."