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About the study

The Drake Football Study is the most comprehensive study to-date to measure the mental and physical health of professional footballers over time and was officially launched at a dedicated symposium in London in October 2019.

The study has been part-funded by a number of collaborators in addition to founding funder The Drake Foundation, and will involve partners from across Europe, including the World Players’ Union (FIFPRO), Amsterdam University Medical Centers (both the Netherlands) and Mehiläinen NEO Hospital (Finland).

The research team is led by Vincent Gouttebarge (Chief Medical Officer at FIFPRO) and Gino Kerkhoffs (Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Amsterdam University Medical Centers). Researchers will gather epidemiological data on musculoskeletal, neurocognitive, cardiovascular and mental health trends of professional footballers over their pre- and post-retirement years, with data collection anticipated to run for a minimum of 10 years.

It is hoped that this longitudinal study – the first of its kind – will provide new insights into players’ health across their careers and into retirement. This information could ultimately enable health professionals to develop preventative and curative measures for future generations of players, as well as wider society.


The protocol for The Drake Football Study is published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine and can be found here >>>

You can also watch a video animation outlining the protocol, published in the Video Journal of Biomedicine, below and read more here >>>

If you would like more information on the longitudinal study, please send an email to

Study launch

The Drake Football Study was officially launched at a dedicated symposium in October 2019 - find out more by watching the video below.

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