Jeff Astle

13 May 1942 – 19 January 2002

English footballer who played as a striker, considered one of the best players in West Bromwich Albion’s history. Astle started his career at Notts County, scoring 31 league goals in five years, before spending a decade at West Brom. He scored 174 goals in 361 games for the Baggies, the most notable of which was the only goal of the 1968 FA Cup final, as West Brom beat Everton to the trophy. Known to Baggies fans as ‘The King’, Astle had scored in every round of that year’s competition and was also the First Division’s top scorer in the 1969-1970 season. Astle played five times for England, without scoring, and is chiefly remembered for missing a chance to equalize against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup group stage, a goal which may have given England a less challenging knockout route. Forever modest, in retirement, Astle ran a window cleaning business and made numerous comedic appearances on Baddiel and Skinner’s Fantasy Football League, usually singing over the end credits. Astle died in 2002, aged 59, from degenerative brain disease caused by his repeated heading of the then-used leather footballs, subsequently becoming a symbol for research into the dangers of head injuries in football.