Jeff Astle’s widow and daughter have urged Gordon Taylor to quit as the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association after accusing him and his union of letting down the West Brom legend.
Astle was known as ‘the King’ by fans after scoring the winner for West Brom in the 1968 FA Cup Final and became a cult hero at the Hawthorns.
But he died, aged just 59 back in 2002 of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which has been linked to heading heavy leather footballs.
Astle’s family have campaigned for a considerable period as they look to raise awareness around brain injuries in football but feel they have not had the support they were looking for.
The PFA chief insists the matter has always been ‘high on their agenda’, but Astle’s widow Laraine feels that has not been the case.
Laraine, speaking in the Daily Telegraph said: “They have failed, swept it under a carpet. It is 15 years since Jeff died and we feel nothing has been done.
“Gordon Taylor has waffled his way through. They should make way for a younger man who has got more fight, who will go in with all guns blazing.
“We have been very patient, very polite, but they have let us down. They have let Jeff down and they have let football down.”
Astle’s daughter Dawn added: “You need someone who is going to fight for the players. (Taylor) takes the industry line and he should take the union line.”
Taylor has responded strongly to the criticism against the PFA and says the hard work continues as they look to investigate the issue and will invest the necessary funding.
Taylor said: “As an organisation we have done more than anyone. We know that frustration because of the lobbying we have done.
“We are trying to recruit everyone in football to buy into this. We haven’t swept it under the carpet. It is an area where we are prepared to commit funding but we can’t do it on our own.
“I have never not been prepared to speak with them. It’s not neglected, this is high on our agenda.”