It’s Been 10 Years Since 14 Year Old Ben Robinson Died On A Rugby Field And Still The Message Is Being Ignored


Ten years after his son, Ben Robinson, was killed, Peter Robinson is still working to better protect young sportspeople's from brain injuries.

It’s strange people talk about how time’s a healer,” Peter Robinson said to the Guardian, “but I don’t think we’ve ever found that.” It’s been 10 years the fourteen-year-old Ben died due to a brain injury caused by the repeated blows to the head he suffered during a school rugby match.

The pain Peter feels today is as close to the surface now as it did the first time we spoke. It was the 10th anniversary on Friday. “Another anniversary,” Peter says. “It just underlines that he’s not here. You see his mates from school growing up, getting engaged, getting their degrees, and it makes you think about everything he’s missed out on, and everything we’ve missed out on.”

“If everything had been in place on that day,” Peter says, “if the people there that day had more knowledge, Ben would still be here now.”

Other parents sometimes ask him for advice about what they should do. “If in doubt, sit them out,” he tells them. It’s simple. But some people still don’t get it.

Ben is doing some football coaching himself these days “and I see it probably every other week”. He adds: “There’s a clash of heads, and people stop to ask questions: ‘Are you OK to play on?’ or: ‘What day is it?’ It’s this myth that’s grown up over the years: ‘If they can answer the questions then they can play on,’ like the idea you can treat someone with a magic sponge. You could answer all those questions correctly and still be concussed.”

“We still have a long way to go yet, the way I see it is we’re guardians of our kids’ brains until they turn 18, and we have to think about reducing the amount of risk they’re being exposed to, and there’s still so many things we can do. So I ask myself, did we get justice for Ben?” he says. “And I don’t know.”

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