The Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Perth has today unanimously passed a motion re-affirming the party’s support for Franks Law.
The motion also went on to urge the Scottish Government and the SFA to examine what support can be given to ex-football players suffering from dementia. The commitment follows fresh calls from former professionals and their families, including from Liz McNeill, the wife of former Celtic captain Billy McNeill who suffers from dementia.
Frank’s Law is named after former Dundee midfielder Frank Kopel who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59. At present, anyone under the age of 65 who requires personal care for conditions such as dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis has to fund the cost of the care themselves. However, for those over the age of 65, that personal care is free.
Commenting after closing the debate, Mike Rumbles MSP said:
“I am delighted that conference has unanimously voted in favour of re-affirming our support for Frank’s Law.
“While Liberal Democrats were instrumental in introducing free personal care for the elderly, it is absolutely essential that action is now taken to ensure people under the age of 65 with a degenerative illnesses have access to the personal care and support they need.
“Frank’s widow, Amanda Kopel deserves great credit for forcing this issue on to the political agenda and keeping pressure on the Scottish Government to act.”
Mr Rumbles, who represents the North East, added:
“What’s more, today party members recognised the number of ex-footballers who go on to suffer from dementia in later life.
“That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats are urging the Scottish Government and the SFA to examine what support can be given to ex-football players suffering from dementia and support research into the potential link between brain injuries, dementia and football.”