Road honour for hometown footballing hero

Published Monday 25 January 2021 at 14:02

An English footballing hero born in Blackburn is to have a road named after him in his hometown.

Fred Pickering was a star of the 1960s and early 1970s, while playing for Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Birmingham City, Blackpool and England.

Blackburn with Darwen Council were keen to recognise the role he played locally for Rovers as well as his contribution to English football in general.

‘Fred Pickering Place’ will be located in the new Great Places development at New Wellington Street in Mill Hill, where Fred lived all of his life.

Striker Fred signed for his hometown team Rovers after leaving school. The converted defender netted 61 times in 134 matches in two spells with the Ewood Park team.

He was subject to a record transfer between British clubs when joining Everton in March 1964 for £85,000. He went on to solidify his legend as one of Everton’s great goalscorers.

His England career saw Fred score a hat-trick on his debut but he narrowly missed out on the World Cup Winning 1966 squad through injury.

A formal naming ceremony for the new road will take place towards the end of 2021 when residents start to move in.

Fred’s daughter Deborah, who the Council worked with on the plans, said:

My brother and I would like to thank Blackburn with Darwen along with the developers. Our dad would have been so delighted to have a road named after him for the contribution he made in his career towards football. The road could not be in a better place, as family and friends live in Mill Hill and surrounding areas and this will be a great memory for the rest of our lives.

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Health and Mill Hill and Moorgate Ward Councillor, said:

Naming the road after Fred is a way of us recognising the massive contribution he made to English football both locally for Blackburn Rovers, for Everton, Birmingham and Blackpool and on the international stage for England. Fred was born in Blackburn and lived in Mill Hill all his life so I hope this will solidify our strong links with him and his family and act as a reminder of his importance to our borough to residents and visitors alike.

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