WATCH: Wor Jackie statue finds a new home
A much-loved statue of football legend Jackie Milburn has been moved to its new home.
The bronze figure of Ashington’s most famous son was removed from its original location on Station Road in May last year, as workmen moved in to transform the area in a £1.5million scheme.
Today, Jackie’s grand-daughter Laura Reed unveiled the statue at its new location outside Ashington Leisure Centre.
She said: “I’m delighted to be able to unveil the statue of my grampa at its new location.
“He was so well-known, both here in Ashington and throughout the North East, and we’ve missed not being able to see him over the past few months.
“This is an ideal setting and I am sure my grampa would be delighted that this statue is here to reflect the sporting heritage of the town.”
Laura was joined by her three children and Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery.
Affectionately known as Wor Jackie, the Ashington-born striker scored 177 goals in 353 appearances for Newcastle United, and was adored by fans for his humility as much as his prowess on the pitch.
The statue on Station Road was unveiled in 1995, atop a red brick plinth, and depicts Jackie trapping the ball with his left foot. Another statue unveiled in 1991 on Northumberland Street, Newcastle, has moved several times and now stands proudly on St James’ Boulevard.
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We know what Jackie means to the people of Ashington, and why it’s so important to have the statue in a prominent place where people can appreciate it.
“The redevelopment of Station Road over the last six months has given us the opportunity to relocate the statue and I think the leisure centre is the most fitting place, where the statue can be a sporting landmark and an inspiration to others.”
The new-look Station Road reopened in early December following the £1.5million upgrade.
The improvements are designed to boost local trade, improve the look of the street and help deliver wider economic benefits as part of the ongoing regeneration of the town centre.