MP makes Alan Shearer jibe as DCMS inquiry into concussion branded a "joke"

Gordon Taylor was given an easy ride by MPs after a Parliamentary inquiry into concussion turned into a “complete joke.”

That was the view expressed by campaigner Dawn Astle who has been calling for better research and more action from the Professional Footballers’ Association after the death of her ex-footballer father.

Ex-West Brom and England star Astle died in 2002 after a coroner ruled that it was as a result of industrial disease caused by repetitive heading.

PFA boss Taylor was called before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee to answer questions on concussion as Astle has been hugely critical of the players’ union.

But the hearing veered hopelessly off top topic with Julian Knight MP even asking about the European Super League, a potential Arsenal takeover and accused ex-England striker Alan Shearer of lacking “personality” for failing to appear as a witness.

Astle tweeted during the hearing: "Oh, here we go , back to owners and the super league. This is a complete joke. But our Gordon's back to being his fluent best. #comfortable

"The total lack of respect shown towards all those players and to all those families having to watch their loved one die, completely stripped of all dignity and human nature, and those in need of some sort of closure, is beyond words. Shame on you.”

Ex-Blackburn striker Chris Sutton, whose father Mike – like him a former professional – suffered with dementia prior to his death last December, tweeted: "DCMS now asking Gordon Taylor about the European Super League on a concussion and brain injury discussion after not asking questions they should have. What an absolute farce…"

The PFA have been accused of not funding enough research, not offering enough support and concussion expert Professor Willie Stewart has branded football’s attitude towards head injuries as a “shambles.”

Taylor said: "I would not agree that it is a shambles, that is a ridiculous thing to say."

Taylor is leaving his position at the end of the season and added: "I wish we had managed to unlock the key. When you say there is nothing at all (more) that we would have done…We are doing our best."

Shearer made a documentary in 2017 entitled “Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football and Me” which was discussed and Knight said: "I've never heard the term 'Alan Shearer' and 'personality' used in the same sentence.

"He did, of course, refuse to appear when asked before this committee so I think that says a lot."

Shearer's representatives have been contacted for comment.

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