Fred Pickering

Fred Pickering
Fred Pickering

Fred was a barnstorming centre-forward: fast, skillful and powerful in the air

The Club is saddened to learn of the death of Fred Pickering.

Fred passed away on Saturday, aged 78.

Fred joined Blues from Everton for £50,000 in August, 1967.

Although he spent only two seasons at Blues, his barnstorming centre-forward play and goals made him a popular figure.

Fred - fast, skillful and powerful in the air - lead the attack brilliantly and helped Blues form an exciting forward line under Manager Stan Cullis.

He is particularly remembered fondly for his part in Blues run to the FA Cup Semi-Finals in 1968 and his header, the winning goal in the Quarter-Final defeat of Chelsea at St. Andrew's.

His display in the Semi-Finals against West Bromwich Albion was deemed by many observers as outstanding but somehow, despite dominating the tie, Blues luck was out and were unable to overcome their neighbours and reach Wembley.

Speaking the Blues News match programme in 2013, Fred recalled: "It was the best game I ever played for Birmingham. I hit the post, I hit the bar and their goalkeeper John Osborne saved everything. He was the luckiest man in the world that day. I had a fantastic game, but we got beat 2-0. We murdered them! Had we not had the successful cup run, we’d have certainly won promotion to the First Division."

As Fred mentioned, Blues missed out on promotion during his spell at Blues - he was an ever present in his first campaign, scoring 15 times - and he left to join Blackpool before re-signing for his home town club, Blackburn Rovers.

Fred began his career at Ewood Park before a record British transfer of £85,000 to Everton in March, He scored 70 times in 115 appearances for the Toffees.

Three times capped by England, he scored a hat-trick on his debut in a 10-0 demolition of USA.

Fred, who originally started out as a full-back before switching to up front, scored 32 times for Blues from 88 appearances.

All here at Birmingham City offer our condolences to Fred's family and friends.