The statue of Jackie Milburn has been moved to its new home - taking pride of place outside of Ashington Leisure Centre.
The bronze figure was removed from its original location on Station Road in May last year, as part of the Station Road Regeneration Scheme.
Councillor 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.’
Affectionately known as ‘Wor Jackie’, the Ashington-born striker scored 177 league 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.
Jackie Milburn’s grand-daughter Laura Reed performed the official unveiling along with her three children (Jackie’s great grandchildren) as well as Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery and Ashington Mayor Cllr. Avril Chisholm in attendance.
Laura 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.’
The new-look Station Road reopened in early December following a £1.5m 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.