Bobbie Goulding has revealed that he is battling dementia as he heads a ten-man ex-rugby league group in a bid to bring a lawsuit against the Rugby Football League (RFL).
Former Great Britain and England international Goulding enjoyed a 17-year career with clubs including Wigan, Leeds, Widnes and St Helens is standing alongside Rylands Legal – a legal firm representing 50 former rugby league stars in a negligence suit against the RFL.
The allegations are that the RFL failed in its duty of care to protect them from the risks associated with concussions and sub-concussions.
49-year-old Goulding, who has had problems with alcohol and drug addiction, was diagnosed with early onset dementia/probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) earlier in October.
“I didn’t think about dementia at all, I just thought it was the way life was. I was 13 stone, 5ft 6in, playing against blokes who were 6ft 2in and 19 stone, and didn’t even bother about it. But it takes its toll in the end, especially if they’re angry,” Goulding told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I played within days of serious knockouts on at least three occasions. I remember playing on a Sunday for Leigh at Huddersfield towards the end of my career. I was in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on the Sunday night after being seriously knocked out, and played the following Saturday against Batley.
“I didn’t have one doctor check on me during that week. ‘Bob, are you ready to play?’ he said. ‘Yeah I’ll play.’ If you watched the video, you’d be shocked.”