Pearson: Astle Recognition Fitting

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson says his side will be pleased to play their part in West Bromwich Albion’s ‘Astle Day’, but has urged his players to remain focused on the task at hand.

Albion are set to pay an emotional tribute to their legendary former striker at Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match at The Hawthorns, against the club they faced on Astle’s Baggies debut 50 years ago.
The day’s activity includes the launch of the Jeff Astle Foundation, supporting research into brain trauma injuries, while the hosts will don a 2015 replica of their famous white 1968 Wembley strip in which Astle enjoyed his most iconic Albion moment – scoring an FA Cup Final winner.
Pearson, who was on the coaching staff at the Hawthorns between 2004 and 2006, is fully aware of what the day will mean to those closest to the campaign.
He said: “Having spent time at the football club and having met Jeff Astle’s family, I know that his wife and people supporting them have been campaigning for quite a long time. I also know that the Club have been very supportive of the family.
“It’s recognition for an outstanding player and person who’s achieved an awful lot for the football club.
“I think it’s great that West Brom have decided to make an occasion to both celebrate Jeff Astle’s contribution but also to raise awareness of these types of head injury issues.
“We will play our part and we’re pleased to play a part in what will be a fitting tribute to a great player who’s achieved an awful lot for a football club.”
Saturday’s game carries great significance for the Foxes, who will be looking to further boost their survival hopes with three points to follow up last weekend’s win over West Ham United. And with such an important job to take care of, Pearson acknowledges the importance of not getting caught up in the off-pitch activity come kick-off.
“For us, we have to recognise that we are a part of the day, but our own plight is the most important thing for us.
“Getting the balance right is always difficult. We have to concentrate on our own situation, and keep that in context.”

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