The Everton community has been saddened by the death of Fred Pickering who passed away this morning at the age of 78.
The Blackburn-born striker joined the Toffees in a record-breaking Everton £85,000 transfer in 1963 from Rovers where he had made 123 league appearances and would spend four years at Goodison Park before moving on to Birmingham City.
Capped three times by England, for whom he scored five goals in 1964, Fred scored a hat-trick on his Everton debut against Nottingham Forest and would go on to notch 70 goals in 115 appearances for the club.
He was a vital member of the team that won the 1966 FA Cup Final, firing important goals on the road to Wembley that year.
Sadly for him, a troublesome knee injury kept him out of the semi-final against Manchester United and he wasn't selected for the final which Everton famously won 3-2 over Sheffield Wednesday.
Reader Comments (54)
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1 Posted 09/02/2019 at 20:44:40
If I remember right Everton signed him because of him scoring a hat-trick against us for Blackburn Rovers at Goodison. How we could do with him now.
Rest in peace, Fred.
2 Posted 09/02/2019 at 20:50:55
When you look at those sort of statistics 70 goals in 115 appearances, it is phenomenal, especially when you consider that the ball was a piece of leather, or many pieces sewn together. Nothing like the beach balls they play with today! It is even more incredible.
Without tarnishing his memory, I heard from a very reliable source that Fred ended up with very little money from his playing career, and often took solace in indulging in alcohol, and could often be seen in many a bar in Blackburn, a lonely man and a shadow of his former self. So sad!
God rest his soul, he will always be fondly remembered by us older guys, and for his unstinting contribution to the Everton cause.
3 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:04:46
4 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:05:23
5 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:19:40
I think we played in black and white that day.
Our scorers always seemed to be: Pickering' Young and Temple.
6 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:26:28
Oh god could we do with him now.
R I P big Fred.
7 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:29:48
8 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:29:51
9 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:38:45
10 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:44:58
11 Posted 09/02/2019 at 21:59:46
I'm sure he was fit or declared himself fit to play Wednesday but Catterick decided to go with a relatively unproven Trebilcock – proved right, I suppose.
12 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:04:14
13 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:07:45
14 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:22:19
If the spirit that the likes of Fred and his team mates showed could shine down now.
RIP, Fred Pickering.
15 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:30:09
Rest in peace, Fred.
16 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:30:48
17 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:45:07
Earlier in his career at Blackburn he had been a defender before being converted into a free-scoring centre-forward.
18 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:55:44
19 Posted 09/02/2019 at 22:59:40
I saw his debut hat-trick and his overall goals ratio with us was excellent.
20 Posted 09/02/2019 at 23:03:46
I started going to the game in early 1963 and saw the likes of Alex Young and Taffy Vernon in their prime but Freddie Pickering (the best centre forward in the land!) was my first footballing hero.
I know he was a real Blackburn man but our Club must commemorate this guy properly – as Andy #3 points out, his goals-per-game ratio is almost beyond compare.
21 Posted 09/02/2019 at 23:06:19
22 Posted 09/02/2019 at 23:09:38
He was theoretically fit to play but there were no substitutes in those days and the Wembley pitch took a dreadful toll on players. Catterick had to consider the consequences if Pickering had not lasted 90 minutes. Even so, it was a tragedy for him.
He was a man out of his time, however. Football was changing in the Sixties and he was Fifties-style player, a single-minded upfront target man in the Dave Hickson mould.
23 Posted 09/02/2019 at 23:53:31
I also was at his Everton debut that was during a period when our goals had dried up.
Our post-match bevvies in the 'Abbey' were usually noisy affairs but on that day there was a kind of stunned silence.
A voice called out, "Hey George, what do you think about this Pickering lad"
George replied, "He's big, slow, can't dribble or head and can't or won't pass"
Then to a mighty roar, almost in awe, George said "He scored a hat-trick." The beer flowed that night.
RIP, Fred, thanks for the memories.
24 Posted 10/02/2019 at 00:28:40
25 Posted 10/02/2019 at 00:51:24
They still remember him at Blackpool, where, iirc, he scored the goal (amongst many) that got them promoted.
But by the start of 1966-67, the new order was replacing the old. He played the first 3 games, got injured in the derby, missed a few (came back too soon?) Got injured again, then didn't play until near the end of the season. Leaving in the close season.
26 Posted 10/02/2019 at 03:03:09
When I hear his name mentioned, I always picture one of his three goals, the one where he collected the ball way outside the box, ran forward and swerved to the right of a defender before crashing in a head-high rocked from 25 yards. But don't bother telling me if it was actually a little dribbler that bobbled over the goalie's foot.
27 Posted 10/02/2019 at 05:48:55
28 Posted 10/02/2019 at 06:12:32
RIP Big Fred.
29 Posted 10/02/2019 at 06:22:28
His name brings back memories of many happier days following The Blues.
30 Posted 10/02/2019 at 06:48:32
That being the second time I had seen him, the first being when I attended my first ever game when he scored a hat trick for Blackburn six months prior.
My first hero in blue.
Sad loss. RIP
31 Posted 10/02/2019 at 07:19:28
A horrible little man called Bryan Douglas was running round kicking everyone in sight, the ref doing nothing about it. Tony Kay took action, punching Douglas in the back. Needless to say, he was sent off.
RIP Fred. A big centre-forward in the Everton tradition.
32 Posted 10/02/2019 at 07:24:56
How we could do with a player like him today. Rest in peace, Fred.
33 Posted 10/02/2019 at 08:37:04
A few years ago, Fred took me as his guest to the home match against Man Utd (the Rooney badge-kissing game). I asked him whether he'd received an FA Cup Winners medal in 1966 and he said No, because only 12 were given out as there was only one sub and that Sandy Brown got the twelfth.
Thanks for a great day out, Fred, and for introducing me to some of your old teammates.
Derek (2) — "without tarnishing his memory"?
Fred wasn't a drinker at all, he'd stopped drinking years ago and well before he took me to the match that day. I offered to buy him a few pints but he refused and insisted on buying my ale instead. You'd only see him with a glass of orange juice or having a cuppa on Friday mornings on Blackburn market, chatting away.
RIP, Fred, and thanks for my souvenir.
34 Posted 10/02/2019 at 09:51:09
I was denied going to his home debut v Forest a few months later as I put the living room window through with a ball on the Friday night and a furious dad said no game as he then drove round Bootle for glass to repair the window whilst we should have been at game... sick when I saw the score.
35 Posted 10/02/2019 at 10:51:25
I was mesmerised by the amount of people walking down the valley to the ground, never mind the 49,362 who were there. I'd never seen so many people in one spot in my life.
His debut coincided with my birthday and I treated myself with using some of my birthday money to go into the Park End stand.
Fred's goalscoring feat that day was the best present I could have had.
36 Posted 10/02/2019 at 11:11:22
I was also present to see the 6-1 thrashing of Nottingham Forest. A joyous occasion to see so many goals, including a hat-trick from our new instant hero!
37 Posted 10/02/2019 at 14:19:41
Sad he couldn't play in the Cup Final but Harry was proved right in his selection with us winning 3-2 and his deputy grabbing two goals.
38 Posted 10/02/2019 at 16:57:37
Everton: 97 appearances 56 goals, a goal scorer, who averaged 1 goal every 2 games during his professional career, a great legacy to leave behind.
There is nobody at Goodison who is near equaling his goalscoring record.
39 Posted 10/02/2019 at 17:27:19
Fred was an underrated player who had his Everton career cut short by injury. In those days a cartilage injury could ruin your career, not like nowadays. He was, as I understand, big friends off field with Mike England. I think they were "best man" at each others weddings.
I have had the pleasure of playing golf with Mike on several occasions and he talked about Fred, when asked, in glowing terms.
40 Posted 10/02/2019 at 18:37:28
shop, I knew Roy, going to the away games. He was with
Fred Pickering and introduced me to Fred, two Ex Blackburn
I was at Goodison against Nottm. Forest, great debut.
Before Fred signed for us, he played for the England under
23"s at Anfield. I was in the Kop, mix of Blues and Reds every
time Fred touched the ball the RS supporters were cheering,
because he had scored a Hat Trick at Goodison versus the
Fred scored lots of goals for us, some crackers, he scored
two brilliant headers I think it was against Blackpool.
The headline on the Echo was "Fred"s jack knive headers"
Fred wasn"t signed untill 1964 about March.
41 Posted 10/02/2019 at 19:11:29
My cousin lived in Town Green, and me and a mate were fortunate to get his autograph on our footballs when we knocked at his door. I remember reading before he moved into that house that RS fans had painted slogans all over the walls and garage door.
He scored a lot of goals for Everton, and I was a big fan, but he was never the same after that knee/cartilage injury which forced him to miss the Cup Final and also the World Cup in 66; he was in the provisional World Cup squad.
42 Posted 10/02/2019 at 20:07:31
David (31) Bryan Douglas, a horrible little man kicking everyone in sight? Dont think so, Bryan was a brilliant little player, think he was making a fool out of a few Everton players that day and Tony Kay ( who was one of my favourite players) was well out of order when he elbowed Douglas in the back and was correctly sent off.
43 Posted 10/02/2019 at 22:12:37
44 Posted 11/02/2019 at 06:31:05
He was also, as you say, Dave, a brilliant player who excelled against Everton.
45 Posted 11/02/2019 at 07:32:25
Rather disrespectful comments about Bryan Douglas. He played 36 times for England and one of Blackburn's stands is named after him.
46 Posted 11/02/2019 at 08:10:21
47 Posted 11/02/2019 at 08:20:20
He also said Catterick nearly signed him but he got injured in a Blackburn reserve game and was never really the same player again... we bought Alan Ball and the rest is history.
I recall going to watch Fred Pickering make his Everton comeback after a knee injury and 14,000 fans turned up, if my memory is correct...
Can anyone verify this?
48 Posted 11/02/2019 at 08:21:09
He played in that game for Blackburn when Fred got 3 and bossed it so totally, that not only did Harry buy Fred, paid Douglas the ultimate compliment of having Denis Stevens (no dummy himself) do a man-marking job on him, the next time we played them. Douglas bossed that game too.
49 Posted 11/02/2019 at 09:39:49
50 Posted 11/02/2019 at 16:34:34
Supporters of that era may recall that, whenever Fred was fouled and fell to the ground, the crowd would chant "Fred's dead, Fred's dead".
It is sad to hear that this friendly joking has now come to reality. Fond memories of you, Fred.
51 Posted 11/02/2019 at 16:48:17
"Let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Fred.
He scored goals with his feet and goals with his head
Then one day, when playing against the 'Pool...
My dad used to sing it to me when I was a kid but I can't remember the rest.
Dave Abrahams, please, mate?
52 Posted 11/02/2019 at 18:22:45
The name associated with that song, for me at least, was for Bob Latchford. Thinking about it, Fred fits nicely. Apologies to those who I may have relayed this to but.
Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Bob
He could score goal with the end of his knob
Then one day while playing against the 'Pool
He skipped past Emlyn and scored a great goal.
Well the next thing you know the Kop is in despair
All the Evertonians threw their hats up in the air
Then Bob Paisley said to Bill Shankly
I think Penton Park is the place for me.
I'll get my coat.
53 Posted 12/02/2019 at 11:18:59
Sorry mate I haven't got a clue about songs to Fred, as much as Iiked him. My favourite was a song to Davie Hickson to the tune of “Davie Crockett” but that was long ago.
Another was a song about that biting bastard Suarez to the tune of “That's Amore”. I can just give you the first verse of that one:
“When you live on a farm,
And you bite someone's arm,
There was about ten more verses along the same lines. I loved trying to sing that to my “loveable” red mates, who unsurprisingly loved the mad dog.
54 Posted 12/02/2019 at 12:10:10
When he played for us I used to see him quite regularly at Guiness Exports club in Skelmersdale. When you look back now and think how many talented players for a whole host of clubs, were now most are spread around 5 or 6 clubs.
As was mentioned, Brian Douglas and Ronnie Clayton at Blackburn, Pointer, McIlroy, Adamson, Angus and Elder at Burnley. You could go on and on with how many great players played in that era. How lucky were those of us old enough to see those players.
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