Former Karl Heymann suffers from dementia

Former Karl Heymann suffers from dementia

“It’s the best way to sum up my situation and you have to constantly pay attention to what you’re doing and how you want to spend that energy,” continues the former star, who at that time was considered the best in the world. job.

Like him, more and more rugby players – and other majors – are now admitting to having neurological disorders (permanent brain damage, early-onset dementia, post-traumatic epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression, etc.) caused by repetitive trauma during their careers. .

The former All Blacks, Highlanders, Newcastle and Toulon player, who recently returned for a few days to celebrate his transition into the Hall of Fame, played more than 400 games in his career, including 45 with selection, before retiring in 2015.


In the company of former players with similar disorders such as former English hooker Steve Thompson or Welsh third-line Alex Popham, he also joined a collective action to denounce the inaction of various bodies in recent years. “I did not participate in this legal action for financial reasons, but to see the sport change from the inside,” he justified himself. “So we can take better care of the players.”

These days, RCT celebrated eight new players that made its history, including opener Jonny Wilkinson, and it was an opportunity for Hayman to return to the Var. A great opportunity also to remember all his beautiful memories and these trophies that he got with Toulon, grabbed three European Cups (2013, 2014, 2015) and crowned in the best 14 (2014).

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Although the memory is fading, the memory of the first continental title in 2013, when the club was headed by eccentric comic publisher Mourad Boujelal, is very fresh.

“I remember the story of Mourad, who left the field 20 minutes from the end,” Heymann said, while Toulon led by nine points through Clermont. Murat is going back to the hotel by taxi when Johnny scores a penalty. Then Dillon Armitage does a test drive and we take the wheel. Then he told the driver to turn around to get back onto the field and I saw him again towards the end of the game running with his arms in the air on the grass. After that, the other finals were more classic,” he admitted with a sense of humor.

“taboo subject”

The former right-hander no longer laughs at all when he recalls the Covid-19 crisis, when the time was perfect to contemplate hellish steps, and rugby organizers could never agree on a global calendar that would offer fewer matches for players to expose them less. “Are you supposed to play 10 months a year? Should players play every weekend, every year for 10 months?” asks Hyman, who now sells boat trips in New Zealand.

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