WAGGA rugby league legend Steve Mortimer believes multiple head knocks he suffered during his career have helped contribute to subsequent memory issues in his day-to-day life.
Former playmaker Mortimer, who played 255 games for Canterbury and captained NSW to its first State of Origin series victory in 1985, has consulted a doctor after noticing an increase in memory lapses.
Mortimer told SBS' Insight program he is adamant the "tougher" days of his career, when awareness of the dangers of concussion weren't as topical as now, have contributed.
"Yeah I do probably (think football has contributed), yes," the 63-year-old said.
"Sometimes this year I may have to go down and pick up some bread or bananas and I'll get most of it done, but some I'll forget unless I write it down, which I do now.
"I can remember a lot of things back to the Wagga days (growing up) but when I've got to meet a person I forget things.
"My local doctor put me in touch with another doctor in the Sutherland Shire, he was terrific. He said I can see your brain that there's some parts not working, but you've still got plenty of brain that will work, and all I've got to do is look after it.
"I never (worried) during my football period but when I started entering into the sixties I started forgetting things, and that was never me.
"I'll try to fight it, but I'll be guided by the doctor to go see this specialist."
Mortimer's former Bulldogs teammate Steve Folkes has been revealed as one of two former players to be found with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Heffernan was forced to retire from the game at just 24 after copping one serious head knock too many when play for Hull Kingston Rovers in England. He still suffers from the effects including severe headaches, vertigo and balance issues.
Plum played 150 NRL games for the Roosters, Canberra and Penrith, and has agreed to a request from the university of Newcastle to assist in their research into concussion.
"I'll go up to Newcastle, have a brain MRI scan done and do some cognitive tests," Plum said in July.
"I guess (I'm doing it) for peace of mind. Yes, I've been given the all clear initially, but the concern is the retired footballers who have brain damage now, did they have it the first few years after they quit football? That's the unknown.
"I actually had a head knock at the captain's session before my last game. It was my 150th, I didn't want to finish on 149.
"You've only got one brain and you can't really fix them once you bugger them up, that was why I retired.
"All I wanted to do was come back and play for (junior club) the (Wagga) Kangaroos, I had it teed up, but the head issue put a stop to that.
"I've got three young kids, that's a big reason I gave it up so I could have a good quality life with the kids.
"I miss playing but at the end of the day the family's more important to me."