Paul ‘Chief’ Harragon backs former front row rival Mark Carroll who is suffering CTE symptoms and calls for the NRL to do MORE to help retired players
- Manly legend Mark Carroll has CTE symptoms in his brain
- Leaves the NRL great, 56, fearful about his future
- Paul ‘Chief’ Harragon has backed a call from Carroll
- Both want NRL to pay for brain scans of retired players
Former NRL enforcer Paul ‘Chief’ Harragon didn’t see eye to eye Mark Carroll in their playing days – but the Knights great is on the same page as his one time arch-rival when it comes to the code paying for brain scans of retired players.
The development comes as ex-Sea Eagles premiership-winning front-rower Carroll recently revealed he is suffering CTE symptoms.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain disease which is caused by repeated head knocks.
It cannot be officially diagnosed until someone dies – with the brain then examined.
Brain scans for ex-footy stars fearing they have signs of CTE can cost as much as $900 – and they are not covered by private health insurance.
Former NRL enforcer Paul ‘Chief’ Harragon couldn’t stand Mark Carroll in their playing days – but the Knights great is on the same page when it comes to the code paying for brain scans of retired players
The development comes as ex-Sea Eagles front-rower Carroll recently revealed he is suffering CTE symptoms in his brain
With some retired players struggling financially, they instead resort to self medicating, which can include unsafe daily doses of panadol or highly addictive painkillers.
Others turn to alcohol due to private fears they have early onset brain damage.
Harragon and Carroll would like to see the NRL fit the bill for all ex-players who have the costly brain scans.
‘The game should support blokes like ‘Spudd’ and everyone else who is struggling,’ Harragon told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘I was there sharing the blows with him. ‘All the testing that is available should be available if they [ex-players] feel that way.’
Harragon, 54, isn’t himself suffering from CTE symptoms and ‘feels great.’
A focus on a healthy lifestyle has helped, and the importance of doing so was rammed home after he retired by Professor Chris Levi, who runs the Sports Concussion Clinic at the John Hunter Hospital, north of Sydney.
Despite his relentless playing style in his heyday, Paul Harragon, 54, isn’t himself suffering from CTE symptoms and ‘feels great’
Mark Carroll (pictured right) runs a Sydney gym and works in the media – but does worry about his future
Carroll stressed his focus is helping others.
‘I haven’t done this for attention,’ he said. ‘It’s the players I want to help.
‘Thankfully I could pay the $900. But other people can’t. It’s not covered anywhere.
‘Not through Medicare or private health cover.
‘The main thing is I want is this game to stand up and compensate any player who needs to get checked.’
If you need help: Lifeline — 13 11 44; Beyond Blue — 1300 224 636
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