Gordon Astall

Gordon Astall (born 22 September 1927) is an English former professional footballer. He played as an outside right, and represented the Football League, the England B team and the full England side. At club level he made 456 appearances in the Football League and scored 111 goals.

Gordon Astall
Personal information
Full name Gordon Astall[1]
Date of birth (1927-09-22) 22 September 1927 (age 92)[1]
Place of birth Horwich, England
Playing position(s) Outside right
Youth career
Royal Marines
Southampton
Bolton Wanderers (trial)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1953 Plymouth Argyle 188 (42)
1953–1961 Birmingham City 235 (59)
1961–1963 Torquay United 33 (10)
Total 456 (111)
National team
1952 England B 1 (0)
1956 England 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Life and careerEdit

Astall was born in Horwich, near Bolton, Lancashire.[1] He was playing amateur football for Southampton when he signed professional with Plymouth Argyle in November 1947.[2] He had previously been an unsuccessful triallist at his local side Bolton Wanderers.[3] His league debut came in February 1948 at home to Luton Town, and he soon became a regular in the Home Park side, helping Plymouth win the Third Division South title in 1952.[2] That same year he was selected for the England B team.[4] In October 1953 he was signed by Second Division rivals Birmingham City for a fee of £14,000, following his Plymouth wing colleague Alex Govan to St Andrew's. He had made 194 appearances for Plymouth and scored 43 goals.[2][5]

As a goalscoring outside right, Astall replaced the Scot Jackie Stewart in the Birmingham side and quickly became an important member of a team that won the Second Division title in 1955 and reached the 1956 FA Cup Final, losing 3–1 at Wembley to Manchester City.[6] Full international recognition followed and he scored on his debut for England against Finland on 20 May 1956. He played again six days later against Germany, but this proved to be his final international appearance.[3] He also took part in Birmingham's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaigns, playing in the 1960 final which the team lost 4–1 on aggregate to Barcelona.[7] At the end of the 1960–61 season, after 271 appearances for Birmingham in which he scored 67 goals,[5] he moved to Torquay United on a free transfer.[3]

Astall made his Gulls debut on 19 August 1961, featuring in a 2–1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, and went on to score 10 goals in 27 league games in a season that saw Torquay relegated back to the Fourth Division thanks to a 4–2 final-day defeat away to Barnsley, Astall scoring one of Torquay's goals.[8] He played only six times the following season before retiring from the professional game. He settled in the Torbay area, working in insurance and coaching local club Upton Vale.[5] In May 2000, the Torquay Herald Express reported that he was living in retirement in the town and was a keen golfer.[9]

HonoursEdit

Plymouth Argyle

Birmingham City

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Gordon Astall". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Gordon Astall". Greens on Screen. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Gordon Astall". England Football Online. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  4. ^ Courtney, Barrie (21 March 2004). "England – International Results B-Team – Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 69. ISBN 1-85983-010-2.
  6. ^ Matthews, Complete Record, pp. 189–191.
  7. ^ Ross, James M. (27 June 2007). "European Competitions 1959–60". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  8. ^ Edwards, Leigh (March 1997). The definitive Torquay United F.C. Nottingham: Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-09-9.
  9. ^ "In an age when pampered soccer players earn £50,000 a week, and sometimes have to be treated for stress with the worry of it all, it is salutary to look back on some of the giants of the past and their rewards". Herald Express. Torquay. 23 May 2000. p. 8.

External linksEdit