Brain injury inquiry must hold people to account, says ex Doncaster Rovers star after dad's death

A parliamentary inquiry focusing on the link between sport and long term injury must bring those responsible, says a former Doncaster Rovers star after the death of his World Cup winning dad following a dementia battle.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:16 am

John Stiles, the son of 1966 England hero Nobby, says the investigation must look at past failures – rather than just future planning.

According to insiders, the focus of the two hearings, which begin next Tuesday, is likely to be what measures can be taken to safeguard those playing sport.

John, who played for Rovers between 1989 and 1992 said: 'I'm really pleased the MPs have got involved.

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John Stiles wants answers over the death of his dad Nobby after a dementia battle.

"Football can't sort out its own issues and it hasn't wanted to. This is a national scandal that affects many people. But the reason the inquiry is happening is the failings of the past.

“There has to be an examination of what's gone wrong before they can move forwards."

Stiles, whose father passed away in October aged 78, has been critical of the Professional Footballers' Association's inaction. Outgoing chief executive Gordon Taylor will appear before the committee and Stiles wants him held accountable for his part in the scandal.

'I'd like to see him explain why so little of the millions that have been given to the PFA to do their job and look after ex-players has been spent on doing so,' he said.

A spokesman for the PFA said the union is 'committed to funding research and working towards stronger protections for players'.

Nobby, famed for dancing round the Wembley pitch with the Jules Rimet trophy, is the fifth member of England’s World Cup winning team to battle dementia.

Stiles made 397 appearances for Manchester United between 1960 and 1971, later going on to play for Middlesbrough and Preston North End.

The former Red Devils midfielder was a key part of the Three Lions’ 1966 triumph on home soil at Wembley more than 50 years ago.

John, now 56, played for Doncaster Rovers between 1989 and 1992, making 89 appearances and scoring two goals.

A nephew of football legend Johnny Giles, he also played for Leeds United.