Some of the most memorable goals in football history have been scored by headers.

There’s Didier Drogba’s header against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final which levelled the score with just a few minutes of regulation time remaining. The goal allowed the English club to go on and win their first Champions League title in Chelsea’s history.

There was Zinedine Zidane’s brace of headers in the 1998 World Cup final that set France on their way to the title in Paris.

And there is a number of Cristiano Ronaldo’s headers which would make best-ever lists, such is the Portuguese player’s proficiency with finding the back of the net with his head.

But this week there has been a development which, if implemented would, if not eliminate these memorable headers entirely, certainly reduce the occurrence of them significantly.

It has been suggested by one of the world’s leading experts on brain injuries, Dr Bennet Omalu, that heading a football should be restricted in the professional game and banned entirely for those under the age of 18.

Dr Omalu, who discovered the brain disease, CTE, which has long-term effects and is caused by repeated head trauma, made a drastic suggestion.

“It does not make sense to control an object travelling at a high velocity with your head,” Dr Omalu told the BBC.

“I believe, eventually, at the professional level (of football) we need to restrict heading of the ball. It is dangerous. No child under the age of 18 should be heading the ball in soccer. Kids under the age of 12 to 14 should play a less contact form of soccer which we should develop for them and kids between 12 and 18 can play but should not head the ball.”

It is quite a statement and a development which, if put into practice, would change the sport forever. It is not hard to see Dr Omalu’s point; if there is any possibility that a child’s brain could be damaged by heading a football, why would we voluntarily put them in that situation? But there are many on the other side of the argument who claim that Dr Omalu’s suggestion is far too draconian and such drastic action is not necessary.

Certainly this week’s news about former England wing-half Rod Taylor backs up Dr Omalu’s statement. It was revealed that the former Portsmouth player, who died earlier this year and donated his brain to science, was found to have been suffering from CTE during the latter stages of his life. It is thought that his CTE was caused by repeatedly heading the ball during the course of his lengthy career.

The plight of players such as Taylor cannot be compared to modern-day players of course, with the heavy leather balls used pre-1980s a world apart from the far lighter modern ball used these days. But nevertheless, the possibility of damage being caused by heading any ball cannot be ruled out entirely.

But is eliminating heading, which is an integral part of the game, the answer? Those against banning heading cite examples such as boxing and MMA as a far more pressing issue when it comes to dangerous sports.

And while it is true that both of these sports should be looked at when it comes to safety, that does not mean football should get a free pass when it comes to making it safer. Ball manufacturers should be engaged with and encouraged, if not forced, to use research and science to minimise the risk of head injury – and if that means making the balls even lighter than they already are, so be it

But at what point do we draw the line in trying to eliminate all risk from sport entirely? Yes, athletes, and particularly young athletes, should not be exposed to undue risk, particularly the risk of brain injury. However, at some point we have to accept that a degree of risk is present in almost everything and it has to be assessed as to whether the positives outweigh the negatives. There are so many positives of being involved in sport that there are few cases in which the risk is so severe it would put me off sport for life.

But the debate should certainly continue and while it is unlikely we will see heading banned outright any time soon, if there are small changes implemented which make football safer for kids, without trying to sanitise it entirely, it would be a welcome move.