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Gordon Astall

Personal information
Full nameGordon Astall
Place of birthHorwich, England
Playing positionOutside right

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Gordon Astall (born 22 September 1927) is a former English professional footballer. He played as an outside right and represented the Football League, the England B team and played twice for the full England side. At club level he made over 450 appearances in the Football League.

Astall was born in Horwich, near Bolton, Lancashire. He was playing amateur football for Southampton when he signed professional with Plymouth Argyle in November 1947. He had previously been an unsuccessful triallist at his local side Bolton Wanderers. 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 to the Third Division South title in 1952. That same year he was selected for the England B team.

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 played 188 league games for Plymouth, scoring 42 goals.

As a goalscoring outside right, he replaced the Scot Jackie Stewart in the Birmingham side and quickly became an important member of a side which won the Second Division title in 1955 and reached the FA Cup Final the following season (losing 3 1 at Wembley to Manchester City).

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.

He also took part in Birmingham's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaigns, playing in the 1960 final which the club lost 4 1 on aggregate to Barcelona.

In July 1961, after 271 appearances for Birmingham, in which he scored 67 goals, he moved to Torquay United on a free transfer.

He 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 would see Torquay relegated back to Division Four thanks to a final day defeat away to Barnsley, Astall scoring one of Torquay's goals in a 4 2 defeat. 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 F.C.

In May 2000 the Torquay Herald Express reported that he was living in retirement in Torquay and a keen golfer.


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