MORE THAN 18 years ago, Jeff Astle, a member of England’s 1970 World Cup squad and a prolific goalscorer in the late 1960s and early 1970s for West Bromwich Albion, died. Astle’s passing was greatly mourned, because not only was he a notable and popular player, but there was a hint that Astle’s death had been accelerated by his profession. A lifetime of heading heavy leather balls may well have contributed to his physical and mental decline. He was just 59 years of age. “The King”, as he was known, was dead. Astle was the pivotal figure in a West Bromwich Albion team that won the FA Cup in 1968 and he joined a select band of players who scored in each round on…