NOW that it has been shown that heading a football over long periods is a contributing factor in neurodegenerative disease ("Warning on headers as family reveal McQueen has dementia", The Herald, February 24), is it not time to introduce mandatory head protection for not only youngsters but adults as well? Limiting the number of times a football can be headed during a game is in my opinion, a non-starter. A modified, perhaps thicker-foam version of what rugby players use would be more practical.

Traditionalists would not readily accept this "dumbing down" of the game by having to wear protective headgear, but we really must do something to reduce the numbers suffering from this awful illness.

On a lighter note, (poor choice of word) those of us of a certain age remember well the dread of a sodden laced-up leather ball dropping almost vertically out of the sky.

Bill Dalgleish, Sanquhar.

* MUCH has been written about and speculated upon in regard to concussion in sport, especially football and rugby. Many sad stories of dementia have emerged, the most recent being that of Gordon McQueen. Strangely, though, there is a sport whose aim is to actually cause concussion, preferably unconsciousness and/or to cause enough damage to the body that the opponent cannot continue: boxing. Allied to that are the efforts to cause enough bleeding around the eyes or mouth that the opponent cannot continue.

I appreciate that there is a large amount of wealth in the world of boxing especially with regard to gambling and that the individuals involved do have loads of influence. Is this why boxing does not appear to be part of any investigations?

Brian McKenna, Dumbarton.


I AM not fully in agreement with the analysis by John Birkett (Letters, March 10) of the Meghan/Prince Harry pantomime. We must be constantly aware that Meghan is a very bright Los Angeles actress who comes from a republic.

In agreeing to join the Windsor family, it was her own responsibility to learn the script, know the storyline, do the research for the role and be fully aware the show would be long-running with no understudy. Instead she turned out to be the worst example of miscasting since John Wayne played Genghis Khan in the 1956 film The Conqueror.

Harry must have had in the past a very full dance card of possible partners who would have fitted graciously into the royal family. Mr Birkett suggests Harry was perhaps at fault in not preparing Meghan for royal life. I suggest, however, that if someone needs intensive training to fit in they are the wrong person.

Harry probably knew early on in their relationship that he had made as big a mistake as Edward VIII in terms of fulfilling the duty the public would expect of him. Harry has learned the hard way that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.


IT would be interesting to know how Joanna Blythman would have tackled the Covid-19 pandemic as week after week she criticises the Government and public health experts' advice, without offering alternative solutions.

She claims the Government is restricting exercise ("Covid health advice? Stay home. Get fat. Get drunk. Get down. Go nuts", Herald Magazine, March 6). She is obviously taking the stay at home message more literally than most people, because if she ventured to any local park she would see they are full of people exercising and getting their daily dose of vitamin D.

Jane Leinster, Clarkston.


PROFESSOR Alan Dunlop thinks that building an extension to his beloved Raddison Blu hotel would be like "adding a big black box" and would be it would be "grim indeed" ("Landmark hotel faces ‘ruin’ if extended", The Herald, March 9).

The only thing that’s grim about this is that the planners allowed the original soulless, boring box to be built to add to all the others, the area around the North Rotunda and Finnieston Crane in Glasgow being a good example, and that a country that has given us many fine architects thinks that this is one of the best buildings since the Second World War.

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.


BRIAN Boyd's concerns about the teaching of Latin (Letters, March 9) remind me of a headteacher who was said to have the motto "learn, leather or leave". Outside the sheltered bubble of the school he wouldn't have lasted two rounds in a fair fight with any fit pupil from the Second Year upwards. Inside, though, I witnessed the violent thrashing of a fellow first-year pupil who had the misfortune to spell Britannia with a double-t in a Latin exam. To let the head know that the Greeks spelled it that way, as did James VI and the Bank of England in the 17th century, would undoubtedly have increased the pain, though not for him.

I learned far less than I had hoped at school, I wasn't leathered very often, but I did leave, which was a considerable relief.

Gilbert MacKay, Newton Mearns.


JOHN Jamieson (Letters, March 10) argues well for teaching the languages of the people we encounter most. Having passed Higher French without much difficulty, I had the opportunity of testing my skills during a family holiday in Paris.

I can still picture the blank stares of successive shopkeepers on my requesting un adaptateur pour mon rasoir electrique.

Back to the soap and cut-throat.

David Miller, Milngavie.