For me, it’s up there alongside Gordon McQueen’s majestic opener at Wembley in 1977 as one of the greatest headers of all time.

As I soared through the air, stretching with every inch of my being to connect with a low cross from the right, I managed, somehow, to dispatch the ball into the back of the net. The Billy Bunter goalie never even flinched.

OK, there may be a few false memories creeping into my Roy of the Rovers tale, but no-one was more shocked than me to have scored using my bonce.

However, I’m pretty sure that immediately after my heroics there was a sudden dizziness, perhaps even a split nanosecond of black out, as I continued my downward trajectory into a muddy puddle. I can remember glowing with pride at my bravery and hearing the claps from the sidelines.

On one level I was being celebrated for giving us the lead, but on another I was being cheered for inflicting neurological damage to my 11-year-old brain.

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Back then, the game in Ayrshire seemed more brutal than beautiful, so steeped was it in a true grit mentality, where blood, sweat and tears were held in high esteem. No pain, no gain, commitment came first.

But as more and more evidence has emerged over the years, the links between football and degenerative brain disease have become unarguable. Only last week, another damning study – this time carried out by Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina – found microscopic abnormalities in youth players’ brain scans even after just a few training sessions.

The roll-call of footballing greats to have been cruelly struck down by the long-term effects of daily everyday repetitive concussive actions are too many to mention. Yet it all adds up to irrefutable proof that heading is simply bad news.

But, while the science has moved on, the culture and expectations have not. It’s mind-blowing (in the truest meaning off the term) to consider that the idea of allowing a leather object to colliding at speed with something so fragile as your skull has been encouraged for years in the pursuit of sporting excellence and entertainment.

And yet, despite the weight of evidence, it continues. Sure, the balls are lighter these days and, yes, one can only applaud the SFA for banning the practice for under-12s, but until the sporting bodies address the problem at senior level then today’s heroes will suffer the same fate as their predecessors.

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As a football lover, I recognise heading is integral to the sport but as we gain knowledge about the brain, we have to ask ourselves if the financial pressures of corporate interests and the resistance to change worth more than players’ lives? Would football without heading be so bad? I don’t think so. It would be a huge change, but players and fans would adapt.

The basic rules of football were drawn up when Victoria sat on the throne, children were made to sweep chimneys and women were deemed intellectually inferior. Times have changed for the better – football should too.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.