Former England captain Alan Shearer fears he may be at risk of dementia due to heading footballs during his playing days.

The 47-year-old is the Premier League's record scorer with 260 goals and enjoyed an 18-year career with Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and hometown club Newcastle United.

He also netted 30 goals in 63 appearances for England but the Match of the Day pundit has revealed he has concerns over his long-term health.

"For every goal I scored with a header during a game, I must have practised it 1000 times in training," Shearer told the Daily Mirror.

Advertisement

"That must put me at risk if there is a link."

The paper says Shearer has had tests to examine how heading the ball has affected his brain.

"They were pretty nerve-wracking. I have got a terrible memory. I don't know if that is because I don't listen but I have got a poor memory.

"When you play football as a professional you expect in later life you are going to have problems with your knees, your ankles or your back like I have.

"But never did I think playing football could be linked to having a brain disease. That is why the research has to be done."

Shearer believes more research needs to be carried out and greater support for ex-players with dementia should be on offer.

"The authorities have been very reluctant to find out any answers," he said.

"They have swept it under the carpet, which is not good enough.

"Football must look after old players with dementia and put an end to this sense that once you are done playing, you can be put on the scrap heap.

"It's a tough game, it's a brilliant game but we have to make sure it's not a killer game."