The 11th of April boasts some intriguing Premier League fixtures but there’s one game where football will be part of a larger tribute. That fixture is at the Hawthorns and it sees West Bromwich Albion face Leicester City.
The day and the game will be an emotional fare for every person connected to the Baggies as the club will honor a legend known to them simply as ‘the King’.
April the 11th will mark Astle Day and West Brom will pay tribute to their legendary No. 9 by wearing a replica 1968 FA Cup final kit. Astle scored the winning goal in 1968 to clinch the famous trophy for the Baggies.
The day will also see the launch of the Jeff Astle Foundation which will help support sufferers of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Astle developed the condition as a result of repeatedly heading the heavy, leather footballs used during his playing days which caused minor traumas that would affect him later in life.
Astle died after suddenly collapsing in his daughter’s home on the 19th of January, 2002 at the age of just 59. The condition had affected him greatly in the immediate years before his passing. Astle scored 174 goals in 361 games for West Brom and sadly couldn’t remember a single one because of CTE.
Though Astle couldn’t remember his place in football history his achievements were certainly not forgotten.
West Brom Chairman Jeremy Peace stated: “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”.
On that special day expect the West Brom faithful to burst into applause on the nine minute mark (as per usual) as well as chanting “Astle is the king, Astle is the king, the Brummie Roaders sing this song, Astle is the king,” to the tune of Camptown Races to be bellowing around the Hawthorns.
It’ll be a deserved and fitting tribute to the striker affectionately known as the King.