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Dave Bolton's brain will be donated to science, his family has revealed.
The English rugby league legend recently passed away following his long battle with dementia.
He was 83 years of age at the time of his death but had an extensive history of concussions throughout his decorated rugby league career.
Dave Bolton played 300 times for Wigan (1954-1964) a great player with 127 tries. He suffered this at Wembley in 1963 and with no subs returned to play. Hardly a surprise he was so dazed he threw a match pivotal interception. Substitutions came in two years later. Rest in Peace. https://t.co/ZYyyJQvmq9 pic.twitter.com/J4DL119Iqs
- Wigan RL History (@WiganRLHistory) January 22, 2021
But in the wake of his passing, Bolton's family have decided to donate his brain to science so that it can be examined for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy - most commonly known as CTE.
The degenerative brain disease has been found in a number of athletes that have sustained repeated knocks to the head throughout their careers and can lead to dementia and depression.
The RFL pay tribute to Dave Bolton, the former Wigan and Great Britain stand-off who also enjoyed historic success in Australia, and who has died in Australia at the age of 83.
Picture: Wigan Observerhttps://t.co/oHuONkn5Vl pic.twitter.com/VnIgpUSZ6w
- Rugby Football League (@TheRFL) January 22, 2021
It is with great sadness we learn the passing of Wigan and Great Britain legend, Dave Bolton.
The former stand-off, who made 300 appearances for the Club, has died at the age of 83.
Our thoughts are with Dave's family and friends at this very sad time.
Picture: Wigan Observer pic.twitter.com/vf23ZPzGTZ
- Wigan Warriors :cherries::white_circle: (@WiganWarriorsRL) January 22, 2021
Dave Bolton, who passed away this week, kicks ahead for Billy Boston to finish in the 1959 Challenge Cup Final against Hull at Wembley Stadium. pic.twitter.com/d8F2r0HAAL
- Wigan RL History (@WiganRLHistory) January 24, 2021
#VALE - David Bolton Balmain Tigers are deeply saddened at the passing of #blackngold No 573, David Bolton.
Bolton joined Balmain in 1965 from @WiganWarriorsRL, having made 300 appearances for the English powerhouse. pic.twitter.com/2hTSVJjcWr
- Balmain Tigers (@tigers1908) January 22, 2021
And while CTE's ties to rugby league is still relatively unknown, it seems the disorder is becoming more and more common in American Football.
Star linebacker Junior Seau became one of the first high-profile athletes to be diagnosed with the disease at the age of 43 in 2012.
Shockwaves were sent through the sporting world when news broke that the 12-time Pro Bowler had committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest so that his brain could be used for research.
Studies later revealed that he had, in fact, developed CTE.
Back in 2017, neuropathologist Dr Ann McKee conducted a study on the brains of 111 former NFL players.
The research found that all but one of them had developed CTE.
And it appears Australian scientists are now stepping up their efforts to detect the disease in rugby league players too.
In 2019 the first evidence of CTE was discovered in rugby league players after research was conducted on the brains of two middle-aged people who played more than 150 games between them.
"It's the wake-up call we needed," professor Michael Buckland told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"We're not immune and Australia is no different to anywhere else. I think we needed something like this to focus everybody's mind on the issue."
Bolton now join the likes of Peter Sterling and James Graham as former rugby league players who will donate their brains for scientific purposes.
Rest in Peace, Dave.
One of the game's greats.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter / Balmain Tigers
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