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VE Day 75: Football Remembers WWII

Youngsters Meet With Gordon Astall

7 May 2020

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Former Argyle Academy players Aaron Goulty and Adam Randell are featured as part of three new Football Remembers films released to mark 75 years since VE Day.

The films, which also feature academy players from Southampton and Bristol Rovers, are the latest in a number of videos to be released for Football Remembers WWII, a partnership from the Premier League’s education programme and Big Ideas, supported by EFL clubs. 

The players interviewed WWII veterans who also played professionally for their respective teams - with Aaron and Adam, now a first-year professional, visiting former Pilgrim Gordon Astall in April last year.

Hailing from the Bolton area, and having spent his formative years in the Royal Marines, Astall eventually secured his first professional contract at Argyle after being spotted playing for the Marines in a game at his nearby base in Bickleigh.

Having to be supremely fit as a part of his job, Gordon took to professional football like a duck to water, and his powerful physique and raw pace caused havoc for opposition.

Astall, nicknamed both ‘flash’ for his lightning pace, and ‘cannonball’ for the power of his shooting, moved on to Birmingham City, following fellow Pilgrim Alex Govan to the midlands, in 1953, for a fee of £14,000, after scoring 43 goals and earning an England ‘B’ cap while representing Argyle.

Spending eight years at St Andrew’s, Astall earned two full England caps, as well as playing in an FA Cup final, before returning to the South West to end his career with Torquay.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved by sharing a message for the World War Two veterans either using the hashtag #FootballRemembers #VEDay75 #GetInTouch or by uploading on the Big Ideas page: https://www.big-ideas.org/current-projects/football-remembers-wwii-at-home/

Further Football Remembers WWII films will be released to mark VJDay75 and Remembrance Sunday later this year.


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