Belfast Telegraph

Baggies honour Astle with retro kit

West Brom will pay tribute to former Baggies striker Jeff Astle by wearing a replica 1968 FA Cup final kit against Leicester next month.

Astle, who scored 174 goals in 361 games for the club, netted the winner as Albion beat Everton 1-0 at Wembley. The kit will be part of 'Astle Day' on April 11.

Astle's family will launch a foundation on the day in his name, which will promote care of other sufferers and research and education into CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) - a brain condition normally linked to boxing, from which Astle passed away aged 59 in 2002.

The Baggies confirmed it is only the second time the Premier League has granted permission for a kit change following Manchester United's switch to a retro design for the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster in 2008.

Chairman Jeremy Peace said: "We promised at the start of the season to honour both Jeff and his family's efforts to raise awareness of an important issue by dedicating a home game to him - and it promises to be a special day.

"We are absolutely delighted the Premier League have granted permission for this kit change as an additional salute to a footballer who remains much loved.

"We are mindful that it is only the second time this has happened, which I think says much about Jeff's standing and the gravity football places on the issues his death raised."

Albion will wear shirts numbered 2-11, with a blank goalkeeping jersey to mirror the one worn by John Osborne at Wembley.

PFA chairman Gordon Taylor said: "We were very pleased to be able to assist the Astle family with the foundation.

"We note the help and support of West Bromwich Albion in helping to highlight this very important issue."

And FA chairman Greg Dyke, who has met with the family to discuss their campaign, added: "I am delighted to see West Bromwich Albion dedicate this day to their great hero, Jeff Astle. I know a few West Brom fans and I know how much Jeff meant to them and with how much regard they still hold him."

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