Slightly over-life size bronze statue of Milburn. He wears Newcastle United stripes and is represented trapping the ball with his left foot. On each side of him on top of the low brick pedestal there are four small bronze low-relief images (each 53 cms high) of Milburn in action in his playing days.
JACKIE MILBURN – 1995
John Edward Thompson Milburn (1924-1988), also known as ‘Wor Jackie’, was born in Ashington and began life as a miner. He joined Newcastle United in 1943 and, unlike his cousins Bobby and Jack Charlton, stayed in the region throughout his playing career, scoring 283 goals in 492 appearances. Unusually for a footballer his fame did not fade when he stopped playing. Various reasons have been given for this.(2) Firstly, he had a particularly distinctive, dashing style of play which people did not easily forget. Secondly, his career was crowned in 1951 by a legendary goal, ‘the hardest shot in any Wembley final’, a match which subsequently became known as the ‘Milburn Final’. Thirdly, his playing days coincided with the moment in the 1930s and 1940s when the bond between Newcastle and neighbouring mining communities like Ashington was complete; indeed, being a former miner himself he contributed to cementing that bond. Fourthly, he started playing in the post-war era of massive attendance’s and continued to play long enough to see the beginning of coverage of football on TV. And last but not least, after he stopped playing, he spent 23 years as the North East football reporter for the ‘News of the World’. Milburn died on the 9th October 1988 and to this day his name is synonymous with that of Newcastle United.
An appeal was started in November 1991. Four years later Milburn’s wife, Laura, unveiled the statue with Jackie Charlton, various members of Jackie’s team mates and representatives of the current Newcastle United team in attendance.(1)
In raised Roman letters on plaque on pedestal on the east face:
IN MEMORY OF ASHINGTON-BORN / JACKIE MILBURN / ONE OF NEWCASTLE UNITED AND ENGLAND’S GREATEST CENTRE-FORWARDS / STATUE UNVEILED 5 OCTOBER 1995 / BY MRS LAURA MILBURN / MONEY FOR THE STATUE WAS RAISED THROUGH / A PUBLIC APPEAL LAUNCHED BY / COUNCILLOR GEORGE FERRIGON / CIVIC HEAD OF WANSBECK 1992/3 / SCULPTOR: JOHN MILLS
Incised on the base on the east face of the statue: Jackie Milburn / 1924-1988 Incised on the base of the west face of the statue: Sculptor / John W.Mills