The Jeff Astle Foundation
The Jeff Astle Foundation was launched on Saturday (11 April 205) in great style, this was the sort of day Jeff would have certainly enjoyed. The Football Club put on an excellent tribute to one of our greatest Former Players. A fifteen minute tribute prior to kick off was a fitting memory and to see the 1968 track suit tops and cup winning shirt inspired all those whose memories were revived about that great day in May 1968. Unfortunately the result did not match the grandeur of the occasion and the joys of the pre-match entertainment were lost at the final whistle. It is not for us to dwell on the match but to look back on an event that saw the back four from 1968, two defenders from 1966 and two other colleagues of Jeff's represent the Association with pride.
The Richardson Suite were entertained with tales of the 60's by the two 66 stalwarts in Ray Fairfax & Stan Jones, both had extremely entertaining tales of the Big Man. Ray Wilson excelled as MC both in the Richardson & Millichip Suites. Time went speedily and Ray was only able to ask the 1968 skipper Graham Williams his thoughts on Jeff, so the other three Doug Fraser, John Talbut & John Kaye were excused from duties. Joe Mayo entertained the Darren Moore & Tony Brown Suite Guests. They were all introduced to the Richardson Suite Guests and to the 26,000 in the Stadium during the 15 minute tribute. Memories of the day will last long but probably the Birmingham Rd Tribute on 9 minutes was a poignant moment when cards were lifted which read "ASTLE KING".
Tony "Bomber" Brown on behalf of the Association presented a cheque for £250 to Jeff's Family at half time to kick start the Jeff Astle Foundation. We hope the Foundation can now move forward and start the necessary research in conjunction with the various Football bodies.
Well done West Bromwich Albion FC on a memorable occasion.