Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon opens up on concussions; supports new rules

By Euan Davidson

December 19, 2020

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has offered his support for concussion substitutions in Scottish football.

On Wednesday, we reported that the Scottish FA were looking to introduce new legislation regarding head injuries. Reacting to these new rules, Lennon spoke out about his own experiences.

He was one of many Premiership managers to herald the idea moving forward.

In quotes attributed to the BBC, Lennon said:

“I have had concussion myself.

“I’ve actually played with it. After the game I couldn’t remember a thing about the game, which is probably a good thing, as I probably didn’t play well. But I think it’s a very delicate situation that all sports are finding themselves in now.

“It’s such a precarious and delicate situation with a player where they feel as if they’re alright and they want to play on but really deep down they shouldn’t do, so I definitely welcome this as a step in the right direction.”

Celtic icon Billy McNeill with the European Cup / (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Celtic legends’ experiences with head injuries leave stark warning

As we commented earlier this week, Celtic legends have been central to the narrative around head injuries in Scottish football. Chris Sutton has been a vocal campaigner for harm reduction, while Billy McNeill’s daughter has spoken out about heading the ball (BBC).

In-game head knocks have been linked to Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other long-term brain conditions. We lost our iconic former captain and manager to dementia last year, and others within the game have doggedly campaigned for reform, including England great Alan Shearer (Telegraph).

It’s good to see our boss line up alongside Steven Gerrard, Jack Ross and Stephen Robinson in supporting the changes.

The subject of head injuries is pertinent, given Leon Balogun’s recent injury woes ahead of the Glasgow Derby in January. With concussions being taken more seriously, the SFA can be proud of its action on head injuries.

The Scottish football authorities have already banned Under-12s from heading the ball (Daily Record). It’ll be interesting to see what kind of long-term effects these changes make to our game.