A Delicate Game book about brain injury in sport

A footballer dies of dementia, younger than he should

A 14-year old-rugby player is told to play on through multiple blows. He never wakes up from the last one.

A scientist reveals a pattern of brain disease in NFL players and is discredited.

A survivor of domestic abuse can’t remember details when standing up in court

This is the story of the degenerative brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This is a story of power, of science and sport, and of the bodies that society deems worth sacrificing. In 2019, Hana Walker-Brown created The Beautiful Brain, an award-winning podcast about West Bromwich Albion hero Jeff Astle and CTE. A Delicate Game explores the passion and fury of sport, truth and justice, violence against women, privilege, love, greed, hope and redemption. It’s going to change the way you think about sport forever. For fans of She Said and Bad Blood.

About Author Hana Walker-Brown

Hana Walker-Brown is a multi-award-winning audio documentary maker, writer and the Creative Director for Broccoli Productions, a London based podcast production company founded in direct response to the lack of opportunities for minority talent both in front of and behind the mic. In 2019, Hana Walker-Brown created the Audible original, The Beautiful Brain, a multi-award-winning podcast docuseries about West Bromwich Albion hero Jeff Astle and CTE. 

Hana is a fearless and passionate advocate of multi-media storytelling and has covered an exceptional range of stories, taking the big world stuff and making it human. She is a guest lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has given talks and masterclasses around the world about her work and creative processes. 

Hana has created work for Audible, the BBC, the Guardian, National Geographic, Spotify and Warner Brothers among many others.

Duffy’s thoughts on A Delicate Game

A Delicate Game is a must-read for so many reasons. You don’t need to be in professional high contact sports to learn something about the sheer enormity of damage caused to those who play sports, whether it’s professional or Sunday little league.

I’ve been interested in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) ever since I saw the tragic documentary about NFL player Aaron Hernandez and have noticed the rise in sporting stars who end their lives, or suffer from dementia far too early for their years.

There are some incredibly raw and touching stories to be found within the pages of A Delicate Game, and some paragraphs, I warn you, are very hard to digest. You know the ending for the subjects, but you can’t help hoping for a different outcome. Hana Walker-Brown has a knack for intricate descriptors which place you smack bang in the living rooms and kitchens of those who have borne the brunt of brain injury through sport and domestic violence.

Is the sporting industry really improving? Or are we hoodwinked with marketing campaigns and foundations in support of mental health issues such as depression which are the direct result of constant head knocks that sporting bodies deem a necessary part of the game?

A Delicate Game will leave you with more questions than answers, but it will also give you a deeper knowledge and understanding of the effects of brain injury. You don’t need to be knocked out in a ring to suffer the long term and irreversible consequences.

a delicate game
A delicate game is available from Booktopia and all good bookstores

Follow Duffythewriter for reviews on more interesting non-fiction reads