Printer Friendly

The goal that crowned Jeff King of Albion.

Byline: paul Cole paul.cole@trinitymirror.com

IT was the goal that, perhaps more than any other, will forever enshrine Jeff Astle in Albion history.

Gaining possession 35 yards from goal, The King swayed his way through the Everton defence and shot from 25 yards.

The right foot shot struck teammate Graham Lovett's backside - but rebounded to the big No 9's stronger left foot.

This time Astle hit it first time. The ball fair screamed into the top of the net away to the left of hapless Goodison goalie Gordon West.

It was the third minute of extra time; it was May 18, 1968; it was Wembley.

And it was the goal that won Albion the FA Cup, beating Everton 1-0. But, and here's the thing, Jeff Astle didn't reckon he was a hero.

He told the following day's Sunday Mercury that he should have done better.

"I didn't think I played a very good game," this honest, hard-working hero shrugged.

"I was never in the game very much, and I was certainly not at my best."

This from a man who had not just brought the FA Cup to the Black Country, but who had also achieved the remarkable record of scoring in every round of that year's competition.

"Still," he considered. "The lads told me: 'You are only played to score goals.' ".

"At least I did that." Didn't he just!

For a full minute after he scored the winner, Astle was mobbed by ecstatic team-mates.

This was the 60s, remember, when goal celebrations didn't seem to last all afternoon.

The Albion fans roared their approval; the Albion fans roared their adulation.

In the stand, the wives and girlfriends - WAGS hadn't been invented yet - broke down in floods of tears.

"It's Albion's Cup," trumpeted that night's Sports Argus in banner head"It's Albion's Cup," trumpeted that night's Sports Argus in banner headlines.

head-"Astle is golden goal ace," the Argus "Astle is golden goal ace," the Argus sub-editors added.

After beating the 'Goodison Go-Go-Go Guys',' the newspaper added, the Albion players headed off to celebrate their famous fifth FA Cup victory at London's posh Park Lane After beating the 'Goodison Go-Go-Go Guys',' the newspaper added, the Albion players headed off to celebrate their famous fifth FA Cup victory at London's posh Park Lane Hotel.

celebrate victory presented And it was there that Astle was presented with the Midland Footballer of the Year trophy by chairman Jim And it was there that Astle was presented with the Midland Footballer of the Year trophy by chairman Jim Gaunt.

"I was just doing my job; I was just part of the team," protested the Wem"I was just doing my job; I was just part of the team," protested the Wembley winner.

Wem-The King was just making history.

The King was just making history. He was just too modest to admit it.

remember And that's how we like to remember Jeff Astle - a grafter on the pitch And that's how we like to remember Jeff Astle - a grafter on the pitch and a grafter off it, too.

An honest footballer whose life was taken tragically early by the game An honest footballer whose life was taken tragically early by the game he loved.

So whatever the result of today's Albion game, let's celebrate a life well So whatever the result of today's Albion game, let's celebrate a life well lived.

CAPTION(S):

The King shoots and scores the goal that won the 1968 FA Cup Final against Everton and right, reads about the road to Wembley in the Sports Argus |
COPYRIGHT 2015 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 11, 2015
Words:598
Previous Article:Popeye, Riddler and Darcy seek new homes.
Next Article:Icons to share stage.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters