Ex-Wigan player reveals rugby league left him with brain damage

Former Wigan player Ian Roberts has revealed rugby league has left him with irreversible brain damage.

Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 7:23 pm
Ian Roberts played 20 games for Wigan and later became an actor

The ex-Australia international, 52, was one of 25 retired players who took part in a study into the effects of repeated concussions.

“I was fully aware there was something wrong with me, but to be told I had scarring on the brain was surprising,” he told the BBC. “It’s irreversible damage.”

Roberts played 20 games for Wigan in 1986-87, winning the John Player Trophy and Lancashire Cup.

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In 1995 he became the first rugby league player to reveal he was gay, and later launched an acting career - which has been hampered, he says, by his brain injuries.

“My ability to learn lines has deteriorated. I’m just not as sharp as I was in the past,” he said.