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Football chief's vow over injury probe

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

By Rob Smyth

jeff-astle-heads-the-ball-for-west-brom-394900932

Jeff Astle

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FOOTBALLING chiefs have confirmed they will conduct specialist research into brain injuries following a campaign fronted by the widow of a former England star.

Laraine Astle, the widow of former West Bromwich Albion and England star Jeff, met FA chairman Greg Dyke with her daughters Claire and Dawn at the Community Shield match at Wembley, where Arsenal took on Manchester City, to discuss the need for more to be done to tackle footballing-related head injuries.

The meeting comes after top British neuropathologist Dr Willie Stewart revealed that her husband Jeff died from a brain condition normally linked to boxers – rather than Alzheimer's disease as previously thought.

Mr Dyke vowed the FA will conduct the research.

He said: "It was a constructive meeting and I thank the Astle family for their efforts in bringing this to my attention.

"We will keep in touch with the family and have outlined our plans to look at what research is needed next."

Dawn Astle praised Mr Dyke following the meeting.

She said: "He said to us that no-one has listened to us and admitted the FA hadn't done enough in regards to the issue. It was good to hear because they will finally do the research.

"We have never asked for heading footballs to be banned. We just want the issue to be recognised.

"Without the support of the fans embracing the campaign, we wouldn't have got this far."

Jeff Astle played for the Baggies from 1964 to 1974.

He scored 137 goals in 292 league appearances for the club and is recognised as one of its greatest ever players.

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