West Brom will pay tribute to former Baggies striker Jeff Astle by wearing a replica 1968 FA Cup final kit against Leicester next month. Astle, who scored 174 goals in 361 games for the club, netted the winner as Albion beat Everton 1-0 at Wembley. The kit will be part of ‘Astle Day’ on April 11. Astle’s family will launch a foundation on the day in his name, which will promote care of other sufferers and research and education into CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) – a brain condition normally linked to boxing, from which Astle passed away aged 59 in 2002. Press Association The Baggies confirmed it is only the second time the Premier League has granted permission for a kit change following Manchester United’s switch to a retro design for the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster in 2008. Chairman Jeremy Peace said: “We promised at the start of the season to honour both Jeff and his family’s efforts to raise awareness of an important issue by dedicating a home game to him – and it promises to be a special day. “We are absolutely delighted the Premier League have granted permission for this kit change as an additional salute to a footballer who remains much loved. “We are mindful that it is only the second time this has happened, which I think says much about Jeff’s standing and the gravity football places on the issues his death raised.” Albion will wear shirts numbered 2-11, with a blank goalkeeping jersey to mirror the one worn by John Osborne at Wembley. PFA chairman Gordon Taylor said: “We were very pleased to be able to assist the Astle family with the foundation. “We note the help and support of West Bromwich Albion in helping to highlight this very important issue.” And FA chairman Greg Dyke, who has met with the family to discuss their campaign, added: “I am delighted to see West Bromwich Albion dedicate this day to their great hero, Jeff Astle. I know a few West Brom fans and I know how much Jeff meant to them and with how much regard they still hold him.”
Fabrizio Ravanelli has been sacked as coach of Ajaccio, the French Ligue 1 club have confirmed. The Italian only took up the reins at the start of the season but the Corsicans have failed to fire and lie second from bottom with just one win from 12 matches.A 3-1 defeat at home to Valenciennes on Saturday marked a fourth successive league loss for Ajaccio and club president Alain Orsoni felt he had no other choice than to let former Juventus and Middlesbrough striker Ravanelli go.”We have decided to stop our collaboration with Fabrizio Ravanelli and (his assistant) Giampiero Ventrone,” Orsoni told the media. “This is a decision that was not easy to make from a human point of view. I like these two men, I wanted it to work. During my presidency I have never seen staff work so hard, not to mention the hours they put in. They took their task to heart. However, I was forced to make a decision in the interests of my position as club president.”The result (against Valenciennes) has not influenced my choice. This is something that has been thought through and was decided after the defeat to Nantes (on 19 October). I’m not saying this is necessarily the right solution, only time will tell, but I had to do something.”Ravanelli himself hinted all was not well within the camp as he spoke of his departure.”I’m really disappointed, it hurts,” he told Canal+. “But that’s life in football. I worked and tried to make sure it worked, but it did not work. I’m not angry. We had a lot of problems, I never had the whole team.” Ajaccio will hold a press conference on Monday morning where they are expected to announce an interim coach.