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The Beautiful Brain

Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (140 ratings)

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Until we start to take this issue seriously and start to address it as a public health concern not just for the United States, but in Germany and the UK and Australia... everywhere, this is going to be a risk for our contact sport athletes...

CTE is a fact and unless we can learn how to present it, identify it, and treat it, it will always be a risk for our athletes.


- Dr Ann McKee, neuropathologist and expert in neurodegenerative disease at New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers; Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine; Director of Boston University CTE Center

Our favorite moments from The Beautiful Brain

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Jeff Astle was a life force...
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What happened next would mark the Astle family forever…
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It didn’t come gradually...it came like a juggernaut.
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Why haven’t they done the research?

  • Jeff Astle was a life force...
  • What happened next would mark the Astle family forever…
  • It didn’t come gradually...it came like a juggernaut.
  • Why haven’t they done the research?

Episode 1: A Glass Half Full

Jeff Astle was a player that made history. But aside from the glorious chapters of his life on the pitch, away from the floodlights, Jeff’s story is a tragic testament to the effects of CTE. How it was discovered and the events that followed make a remarkable story that sent tremors throughout the Football Association, tremors that erupted across the globe and continue to rock both the world and the Astle Family.

Episode 2: An Inconvenient Truth

Host Hana Walker-Brown meets Dr. Bennett Omalu. A man so integral to the story of CTE, that they made a movie about him with Will Smith in the starring role. Doctor Omalu was the driving force behind the discovery of CTE amongst American NFL players including Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster. Doctor Omalu believed this discovery would change everything; a truth that could save thousands of lives the world over and change sport forever, but one that wouldn’t be well received by the sporting bodies he was up against. Something the Astle family would also soon find out.

Episode 3: The Punch-Drunk Wife

In comparison to men, the research on female brain injury is alarmingly low. The common term associated with women and concussion is TBI—Traumatic Brain Injury—and is defined as “an alteration in brain function or other evidence of brain pathology caused by an external force.” An external force like a football, or a boxing glove, or a fist. In this episode Hana explores the story of one of the first cases of CTE ever reported in a woman. Through her investigation, Hana meets the doctors and scientists dedicating their lives to researching female traumatic brain injury, and hears devastating personal testimony from survivors of intimate partner violence.

Episode 4: Long Live the King

In this last episode, Hana returns to the Midlands for one final meeting with the Astle family on the opening night of For The Love Of The Game, a play written by Mike Howl about Jeff’s life and death. She visits the Hawthorns—West Bromwich Albion’s football grounds—to meet the Albion Memories Dementia Group, an organization which provides space for partners and caregivers to chat with players of the past, share old photographs and trophies, and discuss their shared loved of the game to evoke memories that have been lost.

This Audible Original is brilliant in its presentation of the world of head trauma. Told with personal stories that are heart warming as well as gently heart breaking, it is a very valuable resource for anyone with relatives and/or children playing contact sports or friends who suffer abuse that encompasses head trauma. I urge anyone with even the slightest interest in the topic to listen carefully to this extraordinary presentation

- Amazon Customer, Audible.com listener

Absolutely fantastic. This is a well researched, excellent presentation, informative. Down right excellent work. I recommend it 100%.

- Faye, Audible.com listener

Best Audible Original Thus Far! Such a touching story... a must listen! The story will make you rethink allowing the young children in your life [to] get involved in contact sports... I know it did for me.

- Angela J. Taylor, Audible.com listener

What members say

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Excellent Moving Story

This is excellent. True story that moved me to tears. Told with compassion and respect I think this will stay with me for years to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Absolutely loving this series so far! It’s very well put together and you really do get immersed into the story. Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

An horrific tale compellingly told. Free stones left unturned in the telling. The Astle family come across as incredibly stoical and proud people. A shame perhaps that Gordon Taylor's utter indifference to the Astle's story wasn't emphasised more. Brilliantly researched and written.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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thought provoking

great listen things are not always true big company cover up football at its finest

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Beautiful

I loved the audiobook, but I was expecting more about the illness itself, then the history of a few that suffered from it.
I did not really get the reason behind the last episode. It did not change anything or added any value to the story, from my point of view.

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heartbreaking but so important

I had heard of CTE but never thought about how it affected people outside of the NFL. Everyone should listen to this. I cried. it's so so heartbreaking but things can be done to stop people getting hurt in the future.

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very interesting..

CTE is not a condition I had heard about before this book.
it makes one stop and think about the consequences of contact sports.

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A Paper Thin Jeff Astle Biography

Largely disappointed (although I a greatly appreciate that it's free). More like a 3 and a half hour radio discussion

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  • Jacob
  • bristol uk
  • 30-05-19

Outstanding for a free listen and beyond

Cried many times during this emotional and engaging documentary. Well worth a listen if your a football fan or not.

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Good story but repetitive production

The story was good and well fleshed out but quite repetitive in places which meant I zoned out a bit.