Final touches being added to Ashington's new Jack Charlton statue and footballing hall of fame
A statue of Northumberland footballing legend Jack Charlton is due to be unveiled this autumn.
A hall of fame is also set to be created in Hirst Park, Ashington, dedicated to the player’s career and that of his brother Bobby, Jackie Milburn and Jimmy Adamson.
The park was thought to be a fitting place for the statue and exhibition, as it was so important to the Charlton brothers. Back in 2016, Jack said: “The park was a precious place where me and Bobby learned our craft, training and playing for fun, before going on to join Leeds and Manchester United and then playing in the World Cup-winning England side in 1966.
"Hirst Park made it all possible for us and we would play all day if we could, and we often did.”
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Ashington town councillor Liam Lavery, who launched a Go Fund Me page for the statue said: “Jack Charlton brought joy to millions of people across Britain and Ireland through football, but his influence transcended the sport.
"In life, he was a towering monument to the values that bind our communities – and his passing deserves that legacy to be carried on for future generations.”
Ashington Town Council has commissioned well respected sculptor Douglas Jennings to create a life-size bronze cast statue of Jack ‘The Elder’ wearing his customary flat cap, and it will overlook the fields where he first kicked a football.
Local football and heritage enthusiast Barry Mead has worked hard on creating Ashington’s football hall of fame. Using interpretation panels, the aim is to educate, motivate, and inspire people by bringing to life the story of these four players, with a focus on their early roots and career triumphs.
Brambledown Landscapes, which has already delivered several important projects within the park, including most recently the Ashington Mining Memorial, will construct the garden later in the year.
The town council had hoped to complete the project by the summer, but the date has been pushed back to October, mainly due to supply issues.
Mark Purvis, chairman of the town council, said: “The people of Ashington are rightly proud of their footballing heroes.
"I never get tired of football stories, and hope these will inspire our youngsters, not only to kick a football, but to be their absolute best.”