Jeff Astle

From Academic Kids

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Jeff_Astle_Gates.jpg
The Astle Gates at The Hawthorns.

Jeff Astle (born May 13 1942 - died January 19, 2002) was an English association footballer.

Born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, Astle turned professional with Notts County F.C. when he was 17, playing in the role of a classic centre forward, a protegé of the great Tommy Lawton. In 1965, he was bought for 25,000 Pound Sterling by West Bromwich Albion F.C. for whom, over the next decade, he was to play 361 games and score 174 goals. His most notable strike was probably the winning goal in the 1968 FA Cup final, sealing the remarkable feat of scoring in every round of the competition.

In 1970, Astle was called up to the England team for the World Cup in Mexico. He made his international debut as a substitute when England were a goal down against eventual champions Brazil. Many English supporters will remember his missing an open goal that could have turned the outcome of the tournament. He went on to win four more caps.

His fitness deteriorating through repeated injuries, in 1974, he left Albion to end his career with South African club Hellenic.

After his retirement he launched an industrial cleaning business but laterly also made TV comedy appearances with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel on Fantasy Football League.

Astle had been West Bromwich Albion's most iconic player and the club was shocked by his early death in Queen's Hospital Burton-upon-Trent of a degenerative brain disease. Failing mental ability had first become apparent as early as 1997. He had been an exceptional header of the ball and the coroner found that the repeated minor trauma had been the cause of his death. A verdict of death by industrial injury was recorded.

Bibliography

  • Astle, J (ed. Philip Osborn) (1970) Striker! ISBN 0720701066
  • Wilmore, G and Homer, J (2002) King of the Hawthorns: The Jeff Astle Story ISBN 095346265X

External links

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