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Football chief set to meet widow of legend

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 26, 2014

  • Laraine Astle

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THE chairman of the Football Association (FA) has offered to meet the widow of a footballing great to discuss what it is doing to analyse head injuries in the game.

Greg Dyke said he would meet Laraine Astle, widow of former ex-West Bromwich Albion and England Jeff, to discuss concerns over the effects of heading footballs, an issue raised after the West Bromwich Albion legend died in 2002 from brain trauma associated with heading.

The FA had promised a 10-year study into the effects of heading footballs, but nothing has been published. Mrs Astle, of Netherseal, has voiced her concerns about the lack of progress.

She has now received a letter of apology from Mr Dyke.

In the letter, Mr Dyke apologises for the FA’s lack of contact and says he will meet the family to discuss their concerns.

The letter goes on to say a commission has been set up to investigate head injuries, which includes representatives from the FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and the Premier League.

Mrs Astle said: “I think about Jeff every day and, after waiting 12 years for an apology, I just want some closure.

“I want to ask Mr Dyke why it’s taking so long to look into this, because we just want football to be safer for youngsters coming into the game.”

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.

He also represented England.

An FA spokesman said: “We deeply regret any upset caused to the Astle family due to our lack of contact during this period.”

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