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Born: 22 September 1927
Came from: Royal Marines Went to: Birmingham City
First game: 14 February 1948 Last game: 10 October 1953
Appearances: 194 (194/0) Goals: 43
Astall was known as a quick and powerful right-winger who would use his superb physique to bomb past defenders. He was nicknamed 'Cannonball' for the ferocity of his shot, which would explain his impressive goal-scoring ratio from the wing. Argyle was his first professional club, after playing for the Royal Marines and as an amateur for Southampton, and he took very little time to establish himself as a regular starter. His career at Home Park seemed to falter after a bright start, but he soon recovered after the Pilgrims slipped into Division Three in 1950. Astall's form for Argyle led to him being called-up to the England 'B' Squad, despite playing for a Third Division club. He joined Birmingham City in 1953, spending nearly eight years with the club, and went on to earn two full England caps. After being granted a free transfer, he moved to Torquay United and spent the last two years of his career there.
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By Brian Knight* in Cheltenham on 08/03/2014 ...
'Flash' and 'Cannonball', the names of contemporary comic book heroes and applied to Gordon Astall by supporters during his spell at Home Park, immediately convey the style adopted by this right winger, a style based on pace and power. Astall, who had an extremely strong physique, would storm past defences and either deliver a hard cross at head height to his attacking colleagues, or crash in the type of shot which made his nickname so appropriate. He had another weapon in his attacking armoury: he would take any throw-in awarded to Argyle near the opposition goal-line and those strong arms could hurl the ball from the touch-line, right into the middle of the goalmouth and throw many a defence into confusion.
Service with the Royal Marines brought Astall to Plymouth and to Argyle's attention in the late 1940s. He made his Second Division debut on the Argyle right wing in February 1948, Two months after signing professional forms for the club. After a bright start, his career seemed ... More
APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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