We are saddened to learn of the passing of Gordon Astall, who was the oldest living England international.
The former Plymouth Argyle, Birmingham City and Torquay United player, who won two caps for the Three Lions, passed away on Wednesday 21 October at the age of 93.
He was the 756th man to play for England and made a goalscoring debut against Finland in Helsinki on 20 May 1956 in a 5-1 victory for the Three Lions in what was our 305th international.
His second and final cap came against West Germany in Berlin six days later, as England enjoyed a 3-1 win.
Despite being born in Horwich, Lancashire, Gordon spent much of his career on the south coast after joining the Royal Marines and being picked up by Southampton, an amateur club at the time.
A goalscoring outside-right, he was stationed in Plymouth during the War and signed professionally for Plymouth Argyle in 1947, spending six years at Home Park and earning England B recognition before making a move to Birmingham City.
And it was at St. Andrews that he started to catch the eye after helping Blues to the Second Division title in 1955 and then reaching the FA Cup Final the following year. Shortly after that game at Wembley, which Birmingham lost by 3-1 against Manchester City, he received his international call up.
After eight years with Birmingham, the player known as ‘Cannonball’ returned to Devon to join Torquay United in 1961 where he finished his career and settled with his family.
Our thoughts are with Gordon’s friends and family at this time.