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Netherseal widow set to meet up with footballing chiefs

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

SERIOUS CONCERNS . . . Laraine Astle.

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THE widow of a footballing legend is finally set to meet with Football Association (FA) bosses to talk about the issues of head injuries in the game.

Laraine Astle, the widow of former West Bromwich Albion and England star Jeff, will meet FA chairman Greg Dyke with her daughters Claire and Dawn at next month's Community Shield match at Wembley, where Arsenal will take on Manchester City.

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

Dawn Astle said: "We want to stress the immediate message in dealing with head injuries and concussions, to discuss the FA's medical policies on this and work on player education.

"The issue has to be taken seriously because it's about lives.

"It's not like a back or knee injury, because once the brain is damaged it doesn't repair itself and dad is proof of that."

Mr Astle's widow, who lives in Netherseal, has long been campaigning for more to be done about the effects of heading footballs on players.

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.

A spokesman for the FA said Mr Dyke 'had been keen to meet the Astle family for a long time' to hear their concerns and views.

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