Jeffrey "Jeff" Astle was born on the 13th May 1942, in the small mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.
Coming from a family of 7, with 3 brothers and 3 sisters, it wasn't an easy childhood. Jeff lost his father Samuel at the age of 4 and for him, like so many families in the post war years, life financially was a struggle. Like so many young boys of that era, Jeff found solace in football.
He never owned a pair of football boots and waiting for someone to turn up on the playing fields with a ball even, was a daily occurrence.
Jeff's ability was first noticed by his old sportsmaster who recommended Jeff to West Notts Schools Boys team. After catching the eye of local footballing scouts, Jeff turned professional with Notts County when he was 17. His style was that of a classic centre forward, and he was the protege of the late great Tommy Lawton.
In 1964 Jeff signed for West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £25,000, and jumped from the old Division 4 to top flight football in Division 1.
In 1969-1970 season Jeff was the leading scorer in Division 1 with 25 goals, and in 1970 Jeff was called up to the England squad for the World Cup Finals Tournament in Mexico, something Jeff was very proud of.
But perhaps Jeff's greatest ever achievement and most notable, was in the 1967- 1968 season. Jeff scored the winning goal in the 1-0 WBA v Everton 1968 FA Cup final and became 1 of only 7 players in the history of the FA Cup to score a goal in every round of the competition, including the final.
Jeff was a goal scorer and one who was prolific in the air. It is often said that he may of been on of the only players to of scored more goals with his head than with his feet. Still many footballs fans believe he was the best header of the ball ever.
This goal scoring ability made Jeff 3rd top goal scorer in the 67-68 season, 4th top goal scorer in the 68-69 season and TOP goal scorer in Division 1's season 1969-70 with 26 league goals. No mean fete, especially in those days with fellow goal machines such as George Best, Peter Osgood, Allan Clarke, Joe Royle, Francis Lee, Jimmy Greaves, Ron Davies to name just a few.
In the following years Jeff's fitness deteriorated through repeated injuries, and in 1974 Jeff left West Bromwich Albion to join the late great Bobby Moore at South African team Hellenic. He later enjoyed non league football with Dunstable Town, where he teamed up with the legendary former Manchester United star George Best, later playing for Weymouth, Atherstone Town and Hillingdon Borough.
After retiring from the game in 1977, Jeff started his own window cleaning business in South Derbyshire, with the slogan " Jeff never misses the corners ", and also made TV comedy appearances as a regular feature on Frank Skinner and David Baddiel's " Fantasy Football".
The Family Man
Marrying his childhood sweetheart Laraine on December 12th 1962, Jeff doted on his three daughters Dorice, Dawn and Claire and was a loving grandfather.