Former Norwich City star Chris Sutton's campaign to get more support for ex-footballers affected by dementia has been raised in the Houses of Parliament - with a Norfolk MP branding the issue a "scandal".

Eastern Daily Press: Chris SuttonChris Sutton (Image: SNS)

Ex-Carrow Road striker Sutton has helped spearhead calls for the Football Association and Professional Footballers Association (PFA) to take more action over the high number of former players who have developed the disease.

His father Mike - who also played for the Canaries and was a PE teacher at Hellesdon High School - died in 2020, having had Alzheimer's Disease for a decade.

Eastern Daily Press: Mike and Chris Sutton in 1994Mike and Chris Sutton in 1994 (Image: Andrew Stenning)

A series of studies have exposed links between professional players repeatedly heading a football throughout their careers and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

The campaign was raised in Parliament on Thursday by Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, where Mr Sutton lives.

Eastern Daily Press: North Norfolk MP Duncan BakerNorth Norfolk MP Duncan Baker (Image: Archant)

Mr Baker said: "My constituent is the former Celtic, Chelsea, Blackburn and, most importantly. Norwich City football legend Chris Sutton.

Eastern Daily Press: Chris Sutton playing for Norwich CityChris Sutton playing for Norwich City (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

"He has recently brought to my attention the very distressing fact that former professional footballers are four times more likely to die of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) dementia than the wider population, due to repeated head impact.

"Chris is just one of a group of former players who are championing these issues and are pushing to see better provisions for supporting the wellbeing of ex-players and their families.

"Can the minister just reassure that the football industry will create a properly financed dementia fund to help players and, of course, their windows who are affected by this CTE dementia scandal?"

CTE is a type of brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head or concussions. It gets slowly worse over time and leads to dementia.

Eastern Daily Press: Sports minister Stuart AndrewSports minister Stuart Andrew (Image: Press Association)

Stuart Andrew, minister for sport, said it was an "incredibly important issue" and praised Sutton's work on the issue.

He said the PFA, the trade union for footballers, last year set up a brain health fund to support affected players, with an initial £1m available to distribute to families.

But he said: "That fund is in place until the PFA and Premier League establish a charity which will involve a lot of football stakeholders, so we can provide a much longer-term vehicle to provide this support.

"This is an area of work I take incredibly seriously and one I will continue to put pressure on those involved with."