THE widow of a footballing great has given permission for his brain to be re-examined as part of a renewed effort to analyse the impact of head injuries in the game.
Laraine Astle, widow of former ex-West Bromwich Albion and England Jeff, confirmed that she had given the green light to neuropathologist Dr Willie Stewart to look for evidence of traumatic encephalopathy, a disease liked with repeated concussions.
Mrs Astle, who lives in Netherseal, will also finally meet with the chairman of the Football Association (FA) Greg Dyke 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.
She said: ““In my opinion, we have had no closure because the FA won’t accept what killed Jeff.”
The findings of the examination are set to be published in the next two weeks.
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.
The FA had promised a 10-year study into the effects of heading footballs, but nothing has been published. Mrs Astle has voiced her concerns about the lack of progress. She has now received a letter of apology from Mr Dyke. 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.