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About Us

Steve's story

Retired rugby player Steve Thomson is best known for being part of the 2003 world cup winning squad. The famous hooker has since been diagnosed with early onset dementia and probable CTE, and now plays an active role in raising awareness of brain injury and other neurological concerns.

Steve Thomson’s illustrious rugby union career spanned over three decades having started playing at Northampton School for Boys at the age of 15. He famously played for both the Northampton Saints and England squads and was once awarded the accolade of England’s most capped hooker. At the age of 22 he was selected for the England squad and successfully played for the team in many games, tours and Six Nations battles to name a few.


In 2003, England won the Rugby World Cup. Steve Thompson was in England's front row, at the heart of the match, and at the heart of the scrum - one of sport's most violent battlegrounds.


Steve won so many battles on the rugby ground, but the triumph came at a cost. Today, he remembers nothing about playing in that world cup. In his words, watching the tape back is like watching a ghost.


Steve was diagnosed in 2021 with early onset dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeated blows to the head (CTE can only be formally diagnosed post-mortem).


Steve is a family man first and foremost, happily married to his wife Steph, father of 4 children (not forgetting the 2 dogs). But this family life is being cut short with the serious progressive brain damage that Steve has suffered. He is now spending time to capture these elusive memories for the sake of his children before they disappear forever.


Steve is now dedicating his time to the founding of his new charitable foundation, HeadOn, raising awareness and Offering help and support to those living with, or caring for people with brain injury, early-onset dementia, mental health conditions, and other neurological problems.


This invisible illness can affect anyone, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. Steve wants to break down the taboos, increase awareness, reduce those situations where we know brain injuries can happen, and provide a safe support network for people to turn to, at the time they need it most.

We want to break the taboo surrounding brain injury, dementia, mental health and other neurological concerns. We want talk about it, to increase awareness of what can happen and how it affects us all.

We Need Your Support Today!

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