SWANSEA-BASED company SWA have created a revolutionary mouthguard which could save footballers’ lives.
In recent years, studies have increasingly shown a link between heading a football and dementia in later life.
A revolutionary new mouthguard could help save players’ lives as it monitors head trauma during games
Sir Bobby Charlton was recently diagnosed with dementia, while brother Jack – who died in July – also suffered with the disease in his later years.
And they are just the tip of the iceberg.
A spotlight has been shone on head injuries in football even more brightly in recent days.
Raul Jimenez and David Luiz suffered a sickening clash of heads in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates.
The Wolves striker was rushed to hospital and required surgery to fix his fractured skull.
Arsenal star Luiz played on, with blood seeping through his bandaged head after being allowed to play on.
Brighton vs Liverpool saw Nathaniel Phillips and Danny Welbeck collide, while Matt Bloomfield took a nasty blow during Wycombe’s game with Derby.
All of those incidents occurred in just one round of fixtures.
Raul Jimenez was rushed to hospital after suffering a horror head injury at the weekendCredit: EPA
With authorities considering a change – including a ban on heading for Under-12s – one company may have revolutionised the game forever.
Swansea-based SWA have invented a gumshield which has an in-built microchip.
The chip measures the force and impact of every blow to the head – whether heading the ball or being caught by another players’ head or elbow.
On the issue of head injuries, SWA director David Allen said: “Nobody knows what damage has gone on inside that guy’s head.
“Nobody is making that objective decision based on data… that’s wrong.”
SWA already provide their devices in rugby, boxing and MMA – where head injuries are even more common.
And football could be their next venture – with Allen revealing it would cost Premier League clubs just £1million per year and they could have all players set up with mouthguards in just TEN days.
Allen continued: “We could send a dentist to a club, have the mouthguards done and be up and running within ten days.
“We can put this in a Premier League team with their squads of 25 players for £1m for a full year… that’s less than the cost of any one player.
“The reason we use a mouthguard is very important… the only part of the body that does not move independently of the skull is the upper jaw.”
Ryan Mason urged officials to do more to prevent more players having their careers ended like his wasCredit: AFP or licensors
The biggest problem with their move into football would be the lack of players who regularly wear mouthguards.
Football bosses introduced a rule in 1990 to ensure ALL players wore shin-pads.
And Allen hopes chiefs will do the same with mouthguards in the future.
Allen continued: “Everybody walked around it… sticking newspapers down their socks and all sorts.
“But now the change in thought-process of players is: this is the thing we have to wear to be safe.
“What we’re looking to do is not stop people playing. We’re looking to prolong their career.”
Ryan Mason saw his career ended by a horror clash of heads with Gary Cahill in 2017.
The ex-Tottenham and Hull star recently demanded more be done to help prevent others suffering a similar fate.
The SWA’s new mouthguard could be just the ticket.