Albion chairman overwhelmed by Astle fever
JEREMY Peace has welcomed the 'extraordinary response' from Albion fans as he looked ahead to this Saturday's Astle Day.
The Albion Chairman decided to dedicate a game in honour of Jeff Astle following a meeting with the Baggies legend's family last summer.
In a statement that will be published in this Saturday's bumper 148-page Albion News, Peace said: "'Astle Day' has clearly struck a chord with supporters from all corners of our fan base and generated an extraordinary response.
"But then Jeff Astle was an extraordinary figure at The Hawthorns.
"Sadly we are all only too familiar with Jeff’s premature passing from CTE and his family’s long and tenacious fight to raise awareness of this type of brain trauma and its relationship to football specifically but sport generally.
"I sat down with Jeff’s widow Laraine and his daughters Dawn and Claire at the end of last season, which had not ended happily for anyone, to discuss a way forward.
"I think since then we have witnessed a process of healing and greater understanding.
"The one-minute ovations in support of the “If in doubt, sit them out” initiative have been backed all across the land by opposition supporters and now we have the next phase of the campaign being launched (on Saturday) with the Jeff Astle Foundation."
Albion will wear a one-off kit based on the 1968 FA Cup Final strip in Saturday's game against Leicester City.
But Peace appreciates that there is also a pressing need to back Tony Pulis' men and is urging supporters to not forget the importance of Albion's present day task.
"Many of us will have an emotional response to this game but down in the battleground, there will be two teams who must shut themselves off as much as possible and compete for very important Premier League points," said Peace.
"This has the potential to be a memorable day for the club. Let’s play our part in trying to bring it about."
*Jeremy Peace's full statement can be found in Saturday's Albion News. Full details about our biggest-ever matchday magazine will be revealed later this week.