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Latest head injury in football shows lessons are being learned Main Image

Latest head injury in football shows lessons are being learned

Mon 23 Jan 2017

Headway – the brain injury association has offered its support to the family, friends and colleagues of Hull City footballer Ryan Mason who fractured his skull during a Premier League match against Chelsea on 22 January.

Following a clash of heads with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, Mason was treated on the pitch by paramedics and doctors from both clubs before being taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “The thoughts of everyone at Headway are with Ryan at this moment, while we also offer our full support to his family.

“At Headway, we know how difficult a time this can be for families. Brain injuries are completely unpredictable and naturally there will be considerable concern and uncertainty as doctors treat a bleed to Ryan’s brain.”

Following the incident, the game was immediately stopped to allow for both players to be assessed, with doctors from both teams working together to provide treatment to Mason for nine minutes on the pitch before he departed on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask.

“I was actually at the match and, while it was upsetting to witness the incident, it was encouraging to see the exemplary reaction of the medical teams,” said Peter. “Headway has been critical of the way in which head injuries have been treated in many high-profile football incidents in recent years, but it is positive to see that lessons appear to have been learned.

“This is a tragic reminder of the serious implications that can result from a clash of heads, which can occur in any game of football or indeed any contact sport.

“There is clearly a great deal more understanding and recognition in football of the importance of ensuring all head injuries are treated with the utmost seriousness, and this has to be welcomed.

“We need to ensure, however, that this message reaches all levels of the sport. Fortunately, Ryan had doctors on standby to provide him expert care and attention, but the vast majority who play the game each week on an amateur level will not have that safety net.

“That is why we launched our Concussion Aware campaign to raise awareness of the dangers at all levels of sport.

“While Ryan was in clear distress, complications following a head injury may not always be immediately obvious. It’s therefore vital that everyone who enjoys playing contact sport adopts an ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ approach and follows it without exception.”

For further information about head injuries and concussion in sport, visit


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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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