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Brain injury foundation launched in honour of Jeff Astle

The family of former West Bromwich Albion and Notts County footballer Jeff Astle are launching a new foundation aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of brain injury in sport.

The former striker died in 2002 aged 59 from a brain condition normally related to boxing.

Jeff scored the winning goal in the 1968 FA Cup final and was a member of the 1970 World Cup squad.

Jeff Astle Credit: PA

He was the first British professional footballer confirmed to have died from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) - a progressive, degenerative brain disease found in individuals with a history of head injury, often as a result of multiple concussions.

In his case, it was the repeated low level brain trauma believed to have been caused from the repeated heading of footballs.

The foundation will be launched at West Brom's game against Leicester this afternoon.

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Hart and Halsall take temporary charge at Notts County

Paul Hart and Mick Halsall will take temporary charge of Notts County Credit: EMPICS Sport / PA

Notts County have confirmed that Acting Academy Manager Paul Hart and Head of Academy Coaching Mick Halsall will take temporary charge of the first team while the club looks for a permanent successor to Shaun Derry.

Shaun Derry was sacked by Notts County FC on Monday Credit: PA

It was announced on Monday that Manager Derry and his Assistant Manager Greg Abbott had parted company with Notts County and the process is underway to find their successor at Meadow Lane.

But with a crucial League One game against Scunthorpe United this weekend and the need to maintain the day-to-day running of the first team squad, Hart and Halsall have been asked to take on the role of caretaker management team in the interim period.

Hart is a former Notts County player and has held the top job at the likes of Nottingham Forest, Barnsley and Crystal Palace. Halsall, meanwhile, is one of the most respected youth coaches in the game.

Paul Hart the early favourite to take over at Notts County

Paul Hart has emerged as the early favourite to take over the managers job at Notts County, following the sacking of Shaun Derry.

Paul Hart while working with Charlton Athletic's academy last year Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Derry was removed from his position this morning, along with his assistant Greg Abbott, after County won only one of their last eight games.

Hart has previously managed in Nottingham - he was the boss at rivals Forest between 2001 and 2004, having to guide the club through a period of financial difficulty.

He was appointed as the Acting academy Manager at Notts County in October last year.

Next Notts County manager odds:

  • Paul Hart - 6/4
  • Mark Yates - 4/1
  • Gary Johnson - 8/1
  • Darren Ferguson - 8/1
  • Alan Smith - 10/1
  • James Beattie - 12/1
  • Danny Wilson - 12/1
  • Iain Dowie - 12/1
  • Steven Pressley - 14/1
  • Neil Warnock - 14/1
  • Nigel Adkins - 16/1

Odds courtesy of SkyBet and correct at time of writing

Notts County FC sacks manager Shaun Derry

Shaun Derry Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Notts County football club has sacked its manager Shaun Derry, and his assistant Greg Abbott.

The Magpies have won just one of their last eight matches and Saturday's 4-1 defeat by MK Dons left them outside the League One relegation zone on goal difference alone.

Gregg Abbott Credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

This is without doubt one of the hardest decisions that we have had to make as a board because we know how much this club means to Shaun and Greg and we know how much hard work they had both put in during their time here.

However, we have to make the decisions that we feel are in the best interests of the club and our perilous position in the table meant that we felt we needed to make a change.

I have nothing but positive things to say about Shaun and Greg and the way that they conducted themselves during their time here at Notts County.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to them, but with a hope that this difficult decision will be the catalyst for a turn around in fortunes, starting this weekend at home to Scunthorpe United.

– County CEO Aileen Trew

Former Crystal Palace and QPR midfielder Derry, 37, joined County in November 2013 in what was his first managerial role and saved them from relegation last season.

The club have yet to announce who will be in charge against Scunthorpe.

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Notts County footballer received "Ebola" chants when playing for Sierra Leone

Notts County defender Mustapha Dumbuya is enjoying being part of his sides terrific run at the moment. The Magpies currently sit fifth in the league having not lost in 10 matches.

However the deadly Ebola outbreak in his native country of Sierra Leone has made playing for the national team an unpleasant experience.

In August, ahead of an African Cup of Nation's match, he says the team was refused entry to the Seychelles. Two weeks ago in Cameroon he said the side was effectively quarantined in their hotel.

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