Blue Plaque unveiling for former Avenue player this Saturday

Former Avenue player, the late Jeff Hall will be honoured this weekend with a blue plaque unveiled at his former home in Wilsden.

The ceremony will take place at 11:30am, with relatives from Jeff’s family, and representatives from Bradford (Park Avenue) and Birmingham City attending.

Jeff was born in Scunthorpe but moved to Wilsden at just three days old, before eventually kick starting his footballing career as an amateur at Bradford (Park Avenue). He and his family lived at the New Inn pub which is where the plaque will be placed.

During his footballing career, Jeff most notably featured for Birmingham City, making 227 appearances for the club whilst also making 17 appearances for England.

Prior to this, Hall also played for the Avenue in the 1940s, featuring in the Yorkshire League team as an amateur, appearing at least 4 times and scoring twice in the 1948-49 season.

He sadly passed away from polio in 1959 at just 29 years old as a member of Birmingham City, only 2 weeks after being diagnosed with the illness.

Following his tragic death, Jeff was buried at Wilsden Cemetery in Shay Lane.

However, it was Jeff’s passing that heightened the awareness of polio, and the need to vaccinate against it.

In the days after Hall’s death, public health departments from around the country reported receiving several phone calls from young people enquiring about receiving the polio vaccination, while clinics nationwide started to report about the lengthy queues of people wanting to receive the vaccination.

Since Jeff’s death, the recorded cases of paralytic poliomyelitis began to decrease year by year, with the last reported case of polio in the UK being in 1984, with the WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative believing that the whole world is now close to being free from polio.

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