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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 14:24 GMT
Widow to sue over Astle's death
Jeff Astle
Jeff Astle died after collapsing at his daughter's home
The widow of football star Jeff Astle is to take legal action over her husband's death.

A coroner ruled the former West Bromwich Albion and England player died from an illness brought on by heading footballs.

Lorraine Astle said she will now be consulting a solicitor about the possibility of pursuing a claim for damages.

Mr Astle, who died in January aged 59, was best remembered for scoring the winning goal at the 1968 FA cup final.


There is no way I'm just going to accept that football killed Jeff and walk away

Lorraine Astle

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh ruled at an inquest on 11 November that Mr Astle died from a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy leather footballs.

Mrs Astle said it was the results of the inquest that prompted her to seek legal advice.

She said: "It was Jeff's job that killed him and, as much as he loved it, I can't just accept that and walk away.

"As soon as the doctor told me that brain damage had affected the area behind his forehead, I knew football had caused it.

Lorraine Astle
Mrs Astle will be taking legal advice

"I must take action, there is no way I'm just going to accept that football killed Jeff and walk away - his life was worth more than that.

"It's important for football that we see this through, although I don't have any proof, I know Jeff wasn't the first footballer to die as a result of heading footballs."

Solicitor Paul Rooney, who specialises in negligence claims, said the case was not straightforward.

He explained: "A solicitor taking this case on would have to look at the information available at the time Mr Astle was playing.

"A heavy leather ball was the only thing available at that time and if no one knew that it could cause damage then it could affect the claim."


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See also:

11 Nov 02 | West Bromwich Albion
11 Nov 02 | Health
21 Sep 98 | Health
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