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Former Crystal Palace Women captain issues concussion warning after career was cut short

  • 20.04.2021
  • JessicaMG
  • Personal-injury
  • Brain Injury head injury concussion football FA head injury in sport department of culture media and sport concussion in sport women's football seizure

Football on pitch - Canva.JPGA footballer whose career was cut short after suffering a series of concussions during the game has said her symptoms would only have got worse if she hadn't stopped playing.

Former captain of Crystal Palace Women, Freya Holdaway, feared having another concussion after experiencing seizures on the side of the pitch following a total of three previous concussions.

"I don't want to ruin the back end of my life where I have to be put in a home aged 50," Freya told ITV.

Pictures on ITV News show the impact of Freya's first concussion, a large swelling on the forehead, after which she suffered with symptoms including pain around her eyes and a constant headache which lasted for months. Freya said:

"It was classic late onset concussion where I wasn't feeling too good, my eyes hurt and I had a constant headache".

In the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s (DCMS) ongoing inquiry into brain injuries in sport, MPs were told women were twice as likely to suffer concussion compared to men.

Despite this statistic, there are limited doctors, research and technology in the women's game. Chair of the DCMS, Julian Knight, said:

"I think that with the money coming into the game it's essential they bring in more doctors and they have footage those doctors can see so they can make proper assessments as to whether or not there is potential for concussion."

"This is an issue that could need government action or investigative action to ensure women aren't treated as second class citizens effectively," he added.

The FA has stressed that player welfare was of "paramount importance" and that the footballing body works "closely with the clubs to ensure the appropriate level of medical support is provided to players."

The FA’s statement added: "All doctors are highly trained to diagnose and manage serious injuries, including head injuries and concussions."