A STATUE commemorating Newcastle United legend Jackie Milburn has been moved to a new home close to St James’ Park.
The 12-foot bronze statue is now standing proudly outside the Gallowgate End of the stadium – the striker’s favourite end of the ground.
Milburn scored 200 competitive goals for the Magpies and is regarded as the club’s greatest ever Number 9.
The statue originally went up in Northumberland Street before it was moved to St James’ Boulevard. Its latest repositioning was necessary because of work due to start at the Science Central site.
Mr Milburn’s family have welcomed the move.
Jack Milburn Jnr said: “It’s great news that the statue has been moved, I’m really pleased.
“He was in a dark shadow where he was but now he’s back at his favourite end of St James’ Park, the Gallowgate.
“That’s where he wanted his ashes scattered, at the Gallowgate End and that’s what we did 23 years ago. I have no doubt that if he’s looking down he’ll be thinking ‘that’s a great spot’.
“I think it’s a fabulous spot, outside the Strawberry and opposite the stadium. My mother is pleased with it too. She’s thrilled to bits.”
Newcastle United historian Paul Joannou thinks the new position will be popular with fans and visitors to the city.
He said: “Most supporters and visitors congregate around that area or make their way through there so it’s perfect. It’s got to be seen and it’s got to be in a good vantage point for taking pictures. It’s far better than where it was, I’m very pleased.
“Tours at the stadium are very popular and now after going into the Milburn Stand and seeing Jackie’s three FA Cup winners’ medals, visitors will be able to go and have their photo taken at the statue.”
In a statement, the club said: “Newcastle United are delighted that Jackie Milburn’s statue has been relocated closer to home, outside the ground where he scored so many memorable goals and gave thousands of Geordies so much pleasure.
“A permanent home at his beloved Gallowgate End is a fitting location for a true legend of the game.”
Mick Murphy, Newcastle Council’s director of technical services, said a special rededication ceremony of the statue would take place in the near future.
Ashington-born Milburn died from lung cancer in 1988, aged 64. Fans raised £35,000 for the statue.