I was certainly heading casies from the year dot (which explains a lot!) and we used to practice "crosses and headers" in training even at junior team level. Those balls were a lot heavier too, especially when wet and we'd think nothing about heading back e.g. a goalie's long clearance that was coming down from space.
Is this the nanny state encouraging the snowflake generations on the basis of a few isolated cases or does heading footballs damage everyone's ......erm....brain?