Sir Geoff Hurst is leaving his brain to science (Image: PA)

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The link between heading balls and dementia feels like football’s dirty secret.

So we applaud England World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst for leaving his brain to science.

Two of his team mates on that glorious day in 1966, Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles, died this year with the cruel brain disease.

Fellow players Martin Peters and Ray Wilson had also died after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

The recent revelation that Sir Bobby Charlton is also suffering dementia means five of the heroes on the pitch at Wembley, nearly half the team, developed the condition.

Sir Geoff focuses attention on an important issue with his selfless decision.

The realisation that heading balls may cause brain damage is huge for football.

It may require fundamental changes to coaching and how the sport is played.

But any links between football and dementia must no longer be ignored or covered up.

The government must compensate gyms and other businesses that have been forced to close
(Image: Getty Images)

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Cold comforts

In the virus crisis, the only certainty for business remains uncertainty.

Saving both lives and livelihoods in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a moral imperative, with the tens of thousands of excess deaths so far a terrible human toll.

A government shutting shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, hairdressers and other firms – or frightening away their customers – must financially compensate the owners until these businesses are free to trade normally.

See it as funding hibernation over the winter for growth to resume in the spring.

Get gone, Don

Talking Trump out of doing crazy stuff is a full-time job until the defeated President’s finger is off the nuclear button and he is evicted from the White House.

Considering a US military attack on Iran was Dr Strangelove-level idiocy from a reckless, tinpot tyrant going down in flames and prepared to take millions of people with him.

January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will take over, can’t come soon enough.