A LOT has been made of the recent FA ruling to ban heading during training sessions for primary school children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The news comes after recent findings from a Glasgow University study that indicated former footballers were three-and-a-half times more likely to die from brain disease.

This will only account for training sessions, and two North Wales clubs have followed this advice despite the Football Association of Wales yet to follow suit after declaring they are "conducting their own review".

The youth projects at Bangor City and Llandudno have also outlawed heading for children up to the age of 12, the first two clubs in the region to do so without instructions from the governing body.

So what is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE?

CTE was discovered by Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu a Nigerian-American physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings regarding the degenerative brain disease in American football players while working at the Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh.

Having been a fan of and written about the NFL for a number of years, I know first-hand the damage CTE has and continues to cause in athletes.

The biggest sport in the United States did their upmost to cover up Dr Omalu’s findings during the initial stages, knowing the detrimental impact it would have on their brand from a financial perspective.

They finally accepted that the fierce collisions that happen during games had a life-threatening impact on dozens of former athletes that died prematurely.

Although the NFL is still trying to make the game safer, it is a work in progress and continues to be a huge talking point. 90 per cent of former NFL players have suffered CTE symptoms and the risk of getting it soars by a third for every year they play.

Retired athletes have even committed suicide as a result of the disorder, shooting themselves in the chest and leaving a note stating their wish to make their brain available for study relating to the disease.

This was the case with Junior Seau, one of the game’s greatest ever defenders, who shot himself in the heart two years after retirement. His brain tested positive for CTE, which can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression.

Aaron Hernandez, who was a former NFL player and convicted murderer, hung himself in prison and a brain study following his death showed a severe case of CTE and the worst recorded for a 27-year-old at that particular time.

While that did not justify actions, it is clear that this played a significant part.

The most famous footballing case of CTE was Jeff Astle, an ex-West Brom and England star who died in 2002 from effects caused by heading leather balls.

While the game is safer not than it was then, it is still imperative that children are not put in harms way unnecessarily that may lead to problems in later life.

This is the correct decision by the English FA and it is hoped that the FAW would see sense following their review and implement something similar.

In truth, there is little to be gained from young children heading the ball during the initial stages of their development and they would be far be better focusing on areas such as shooting and technique.

Mental health is an increasingly important topic, not just in sport but in society as a whole. Make no mistake, this matters.

That is why Llandudno and Bangor City deserve tremendous credit for taking matters into their own hands and taking the steps needed to safeguard their children from possible harm.

Football might not be as violent as the NFL or rugby, but that does not mean a stand does not need to be taken.

The effects of CTE are significant and alarming. Anything from memory loss to violent tendencies can be triggered and if there is the option to prevent it in whatever way possible, one would think that you would do so at the earliest opportunity.

Who can forget the joy you felt as a youngster playing football? Now, imagine that joy taken away from you because you were worried about long-term damage if you head the ball too often?

That is why these measures are the right thing to do, and the sooner the FAW delivers the same message, the better.