A much loved statue of Jackie Milburn is being moved to its new home in Ashington outside the £21m Ashington Leisure Centre.

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 goals in 353 appearances for Newcastle United, and was adored by fans for his humility as much as his prowess on the pitch.

Jackie Milburn’s grand-daughter Laura Reed will perform the official unveiling at 11am on Thursday, February 9 along with her three children (Jackie’s great grandchildren). Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery will also be attending.

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.”