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  • Summary

  • This is a story about the beautiful game – football. The highs, the lows, historic match days and foul play. It's a celebration of a beloved player, a history maker, and his tragic ending at the final whistle. It's a story about science and discovery, about the people on the frontline of life changing research.

    But above all it's a story about family, and about consequence.

    All of this is wrapped up in three little letters, C.T.E.

    A four part investigative documentary from multi-award winning producer Hana Walker-Brown (Audio Production Awards Best Documentary [Winner, 2017, 2016], Prix Europa [Nominee, 2018, 2017, 2015], Ã…ke Blomström Prize [Winner, 2015] Hearsay International Audio Arts Award [Nominee, 2014] and Charles Parker Prize Gold Award [Winner, 2013]) The Beautiful Brain looks at the devastating effects of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – a degenerative brain disease found in people who've suffered severe or repeated blows to the head.

    Beginning with the story of FA Cup winner Jeff Astle, the podcast expands outwards looking at the widows, daughters and families who are left fighting for answers following the death of their loved ones. As the series progresses Hana's investigation leads her from Britain's football pitches to support groups for victims of domestic violence and beyond, sparking a vital discussion about accountability and the urgent need for further scientific studies into CTE.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 4 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Apr 17 2019

    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 are remarkable. It’s a 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.

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    51 mins
  • Apr 17 2019

    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.

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    1 hr and 24 mins
  • Apr 17 2019

    In comparison to men, the research on female brain injury is alarmingly low. The common term associated with woman and concussion is TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury – 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.

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    51 mins

What listeners say about The Beautiful Brain

Average customer ratings
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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 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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

1 person found this 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 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!

The topic, delivery and performance is just exquisite! Recommend a lot to anyone and everyone

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Amazing Story

Extremely well read, and of something I knew so little about. Fantastic listen. A must for all involved in sport

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Amazing book

Amazing and emotional book, with very intriguing and fascinating information! The story is amazing and it catches the emotion and the feeling of an unspoken tragedy that we are preparing for our children every day!

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we love soccer - need to know the brain effects

Jeff Astle - hero of West Brom has suffered brain damage. One assumes that heading the ball is not good for your health.
hopefully changes in rules to youth soccer and training come to avoid similar endings.

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this could have been good

this could have been a good podcast (what an interesting topic!) but was completely ruined with the dramatic music and a load of pseudophilosophical jibberish that was absolutely unnecessary and was only making this sound cheap.

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Interesting and emotive.

Excellent explanations of a complex issue. Wonderfully narrated by the author with incredibly emotive interviews. Highlights the important topic of brain injury stemming from trauma. Interesting to anyone with a love of football or, like me, interested in brain trauma. Brilliant.

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Poignant, Penetrating and Powerful

I appreciated the research that had gone into bringing this multifaceted issue to our attention. Having multiple viewpoints ensured that the message encompassed the maximum number of the listening public. The writer's storytelling made it humane and touching. And, for a medical condition with such a devastating prognosis, the story left me with hope that this is something we can stop dead in its tracks. Just do one thing.

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  • Nancy Ann
  • 04-05-21

CTE. what a frightening thing

This is an informative story that anyone with children in contact sports should listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-08-20

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