Greg Dyke has offered his support to the Jeff Astle Foundation, which will launch on 11 April with a series of memorial activities at his former club West Bromwich Albion.
The club will pay a memorable and lasting tribute to their legendary striker Jeff Astle – who passed away in January 2002 - with an historic kit change for the Premier League clash against Leicester City.
“I am delighted to see West Bromwich Albion dedicate this day to their great hero, Jeff Astle,” said the FA Chairman.
“I know a few West Brom fans and I know how much Jeff meant to them and with how much regard they still hold him – you only need to see the reaction to the Justice for Jeff campaign to understand that.”
On the 11 April fixture the Baggies will don a 2015 replica of the famous white 1968 Wembley strip, in which their never-to-be-forgotten centre forward enjoyed his most iconic Albion moment and scored the FA Cup Final winner.
It is only the second time the Premier League have granted permission for a kit-change following Manchester United’s switch to a retro design for the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster in 2008.
The change of strip will be the high point of “Astle Day” when a Foundation in Jeff’s name is launched by his family which will promote care of other sufferers and research and education into CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) – the disease that took his life at the age of just 59.
“I think the Astle family’s dedication to their father and husband is inspiring and the idea of an Astle Foundation is important,” Dyke added.
“I know we at The FA are now progressing positively with an expert panel to look at head injuries and we remain committed to ensuring the notion of research in this important area of sports medicine is taken to the highest levels at UEFA and FIFA.”
England coach, former Manchester United international and Sky sports pundit Gary Neville is another to support the Foundation.
He said: “As a player you are fearless and don’t think of anything other than playing football and getting the right result. However, when you listen to Jeff’s story it stops you in your track and makes you think about your own family and future.
“It puts football into perspective. Claire and Dawn lost a father, not a footballer and I support them in the setting up of the Jeff Astle Foundation.”
“Dad would be so very proud”
Jeff Astle's daughter Claire
The Astle family will use the occasion to begin the wind down of their ‘Justice for Jeff’ campaign as they now bid to establish the Foundation as a lasting legacy to the centre-forward.
Speaking on behalf of her family, Jeff’s daughter Claire said: “I would like to take this opportunity to give our heartfelt thanks to the Chairman and everyone associated with West Bromwich Albion Football Club for their support and dedication with regard to ‘Astle Day.’
“‘Astle Day’ will no doubt be an incredible and memorable occasion, made even more special with the launch of The Jeff Astle Foundation - a fitting tribute and lasting legacy in dad's name, to raise awareness of brain injury in sport and to offer the much needed support to those affected.
“Dad would be so very proud.”