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'Astle is the king and he always will be': West Brom pay emotional tribute to Jeff Astle 20 years after tragic death

Fans and players paid emotional tributes to Jeff Astle at West Brom's clash with Peterborough United on the 20th anniversary of the much-loved striker's death.

West Brom players wore Jeff Astle t-shirts ahead of the match. Photo: Adam Fradgley via Getty Images
West Brom players wore Jeff Astle t-shirts ahead of the match. Photo: Adam Fradgley via Getty Images

Astle, who is regarded as West Brom's greatest ever striker, died in 2002 after being diagnosed with early onset dementia a few years earlier.

To mark the anniversary of The King's death, Albion dedicated their match day programme to the striker and his grandson Joseph was the honorary mascot.

The first team squad also wore t-shirts donning a picture of the Baggies hero - similar to the one worn by Jason Roberts who scored on the day of Astle's death 20 years ago.

Dawn and Larraine Astle addressed fans at half time. Photo: Adam Fradgley via Getty Images
West Brom players wore Jeff Astle t-shirts ahead of the match. Photo: Adam Fradgley via Getty Images

Clips of Astle were played on the big screen before the game, with the pre-match music including some of the striker's favourite songs.

And Astle's daughter Dawn, who has been a leading campaigner regarding dementia in football, gave an emotional speech at half time.

Dawn, who has spent years fighting for dementia from heading a football to be declared as an industrial disease, thanked the Albion fans for all their help in making sure the issue wasn't "brushed under the carpet."

She said: "It is thanks to you that his death and dementia in football won't be brushed under the carpet. You should be so proud.

"Astle is the king - and he always will be."

Peterborough United director Barry Fry holds up a Jeff Astle match shirt. Photo: Adam Fradgley via Getty Images

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