Iwan Roberts: Adam’s FA Cup hat-trick wasn’t as easy as he made it look!

Iwan Roberts presents Adam Idah with a permanent reminder of his Norwich City debut Picture: Norwich

Iwan Roberts presents Adam Idah with a permanent reminder of his Norwich City debut Picture: Norwich City FC - Credit: Archant

It took me a good few years to score my first professional hat-trick – about eight if memory serves me right – but it’s taken young Adam Idah just three games ... a little bit quicker!

Iwan Roberts is helping in a study looking at links between heading a football and dementia Picture:

Iwan Roberts is helping in a study looking at links between heading a football and dementia Picture: Archant

Mind you, I did score mine in 28 minutes whereas it took Adam all of 59.

What a magnificent achievement it was by Adam, whose debut shirt I presented to him at Colney only a few months ago, in the FA Cup win at Preston last weekend. I believe the three goals he scored against Preston last Saturday made him the youngest ever scorer of a hat-trick for Norwich City, a record to be proud of and one that will take some beating, I'm sure.

Adam's second was his best as he showed great awareness, skill, ability and technique to score from the distance that he did. Some might think he was a cheeky young man even trying it, but I say if you've got it flaunt it, and he obviously has.

It's okay seeing that type of opportunity, a lot of players would, but it's another thing putting the ball in the back of the net when you've no time to think and you've got to react to a situation in a blink of an eye. It's not quite as easy as Adam made it look.

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Having scored two I was delighted he was given the chance to complete this first senior hat-trick when Norwich were awarded a penalty. I thought it was a great gesture by the rest of the players to let Adam take it, even though there were some very experienced players still on the field at the time. I think that type of thing showed how close a squad Daniel Farke has and that's one thing money can't buy.

I've been in the news quite a bit this week as I've been asked by Dr Michael Grey to be part of a study of ex-professional footballers which looks more closely at the links between heading a football and dementia.

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I met Dr Grey at the UEA, where he is based and where this study, called SCORES, took place back on October 25 - ironically, the day after Duncan Forbes sadly passed away, and we all know how Duncan suffered with dementia for many years.

It's something I've committed to for the rest of my life as I'm a big believer that prevention is better than cure.

Being a professional footballer for 20 years, having played nearly 800 games for club and country and because of the type of player I was - a big old, fashioned centre forward who used his head quite a bit and scored nearly half my goals with it - it was an easy answer for me when Dr Grey asked if I'd like to be part of SCORES.

The tests we do are quite simple; we do them every six months and you can do them at home on a computer and they take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. Then Dr Grey and his staff at the UEA compare results and if there's a discrepancy in the results from six months previous then we can act accordingly and do something about it.

I would urge ex-players to come on board, as they will only benefit from it.

My former team-mate Tommy Johnson has already been in contact with me and wants to take part in these tests. Dr Grey is an expert in this field and is trying to help us.

A study at Glasgow University recently showed that ex-professional players are three times more likely to die from dementia than the general public. We've since found out that figure is more like five times likely to die from it.

We've recently lost the great Martin Peters, who suffered from Alzheimer's, so have now lost two Norwich City legends in the past three months who had suffered from these horrible illnesses and it is time we all try and do something about it.

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