Our Journey

The Headrite Journey

1950
1950

1950’s: Back in the day

1950’s: Back in the day
Suspending a football from something is not a new way of training, Coaches have been using this method for decades, with crude DIY methods. The image on the left is Leyton Orient in 1956 & Wolverhampton Wanderers on the right.
1960
1960

1960’s: Ex West Brom great Jeff Astle

1960’s: Ex West Brom great Jeff Astle
Some of the great headers of the ball would later go on to pay the price. Ex West Brom great Jeff Astle died aged 59. The cause of death was a degenerative brain disease that had first become apparent as much as five years earlier. He had been described as an exceptional header of the ball, and the coroner found that the repeated minor traumas had been the cause of his death. This was not the first case of a footballer's illness or death (particularly in the form of Alzheimer's or dementia type symptoms) being connected to heading footballs.
1970
1970

1970’s: Santos, Brazil

Santos practicing headers with innovative training method. Pele was one of the greatest ever headers of the ball. As the clip eludes to, being able to jump and head the ball requires precision timing.
1980
1980

1980’s: Mark Herrick, Ireland

1980’s: Mark Herrick, Ireland
Mark Herrick (future founder of Headrite Sports) suspended a football in a pillowcase, from his washing line and practiced jumping and heading in order to improve his timing. It soon became evident that there was a difference between heading a ball and jumping and heading.
1990
1990

1990’s: Mark’s Heading Improved Significantly

His timing improved significantly and before long he became a professional footballer spending 4 years in England and Scotland with Peterborough United and Raith Rovers. Mark returned to Ireland to play professionally and semi professional football in the League of Ireland for 12 years. His timing ‘in the air’ stayed with him throughout his career.
2015
2015

2015: Safe Heading Practice

2015: Safe Heading Practice
However due to significant concerns associated with the potential long term damage that may be incurred from a career of heading footballs, Mark began to develop a frame that was a safer way to practice. This approach was validated with actions taken by The American Soccer federation to limit heading in underage practice.
2016
2016

2016: Headrite Sports Founded

2016: Headrite Sports Founded
Coming into the market as the sole provider of safe heading practice, Headrite Sports has introduced a sophisticated training aid that allows players to practice this valuable skill without the heavy head impact of standard training. Headrite Sports aims to bring advanced technology to this form of practice by using smart technology so as to provide coaches and parents with accurate results of performance and safety.
2017
2017

2017: Headrite Testing in UCD

2017: Headrite Testing in UCD
Mark Herrick (right) testing the training aid with UCD centre for Biomedical Engineering and Professor Michael Gilchrist (left).