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John Edward Thompson 'Jackie' Milburn, (11 May 1924 – 9 October 1988), also known to fans as Wor Jackie and 'the first World Wor' in reference to his global fame, was a football player for Newcastle United and England. ("Wor" in the Geordie dialect means "our") , and remains United's 2nd highest Top Goal Scorer of all time with a total of 200 goals.


Jackie Milburn grew up in the coal mining town of Ashingtonmarker, Northumberlandmarker, 15 miles north of Newcastlemarker, Milburn's employment as a fitter (repairing heavy machinery) had reserved occupation status during World War II, which meant that he remained in Ashingtonmarker. He was the son of Alexander Milburn, the uncle of the four professional footballing Milburn brothers John Milburn b 1908 (Leeds United and Bradford City), George Milburn b 1910 (Leeds United and Chesterfieldmarker), James Milburn b 1919 (Leeds United and Bradford City), and Stanley Milburn b 1926 (Chesterfield, Leicester City and Rochdale), who were brothers of Jack and Bobby Charlton's mother Elizabeth 'Cissie' Milburn b 1912.


In 1943, Jackie signed for Newcastle United after writing to the club in response to the club's advert for trialists in the North Mail Newspaper. He arrived at St James' Parkmarker with a pair of borrowed football boots wrapped in brown paper, and his lunch - a pie and a bottle of pop. Milburn made a huge impression and was invited back to a final trial match - the Stripes v the Blues. Milburn's Stripes found themselves 3-0 down at half time, but then being switched to centre forward in the second half, Milburn scored six times as his side turned around the deficit to win 9-3. Club supremo Stan Seymour quickly signed Milburn up, although the 2nd World War meant that he still worked in the mines whilst also turning out for Newcastle United in Wartime League games from 1943-1946.

At first, Milburn played as a winger, but switched to Centre forward after Charlie Wayman left the club to join Southampton in October 1947 and was given the club's legendary number 9 shirt. Jackie was arguably the central figure in Newcastle's FA Cup campaigns of the 1950s, which saw the club win the Cup three times in five years; 1951 (scoring twice in the final), 1952 and 1955 (scoring once in the final). Milburn also made 13 appearances for England, scoring 10 goals. Milburn left the Magpies in June, 1957 to join the Belfastmarker club Linfield F.C. as player/coach at Windsor Parkmarker.

After retiring as a player, he went on to briefly manage Ipswich Town, before returning to Tyneside to become a sports journalist for the News of the World newspaper. In 1967 he was given a belated testimonial match by Newcastle. Jackie had worried that ten years after leaving the club, people would have forgotten, but he needn't have worried, as almost 50,000 turned out at St. James' Parkmarker for the match which featured a host of stars including his cousins, the famous World Cup winning brothers, Bobby Charlton and Jack Charlton, and the great Hungarian player Ferenc Puskás.

Jackie quickly became a hero on parts of Tynesidemarker once League Football returned after World War II in 1946. He played 395 games for Newcastle, and is the club's second highest league and cup goalscorer with 200 goals; six goals behind Alan Shearer. Shearer's European goals take his total to 206, there were no European games in Jackie's day, although Jackie still remains the club's top goal scorer with 200 league and domestic cup goals, and 38 wartime match goals during World War 2, seeing his total record score 238 goals in 492 games.


Away from football, Milburn was a shy, quiet and modest man well liked and respected by all who met him. There exists a story whereby Milburn met Cardinal Basil Hume, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and a huge Newcastle United supporter. Both unassuming men, they were in awe of each other. After a conversation, the talk moved on and one suggested an autograph would be a good idea. The other agreed. Both men stood back and expected to be the recipient of the autograph, without realising the other man wanted their autograph in return.

As part of their 'bonus', the United players were given cigarettes by the club. Those who didn't smoke gave theirs to smokers. Jackie always had a ready supply. Milburn died at the age of 64 on 9 October 1988 of lung cancer, at his home in Ashington. His funeral was held at St. Nicholas' Cathedralmarker in Newcastle and saw over 30,000 people turn out to pay their respects.

In 1988 Newcastle United opened their new West Stand at St James' Park and named it after Milburn. In addition to the Milburn Stand at St James' Park, two statues of the footballer were commissioned. One stands on Station Road, the main street in his birthplace Ashington, the funds for which were raised by the Civic Head, Cllr Michael George Ferrigon during his term of Office. The other, in Newcastle, was originally situated on Northumberland Streetmarker but now stands at Milburn Junction, where Blenheim Street meets Corporation Street and Bath Lane, just a minute's walk away from St. James' Park.

Milburn was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to English Football.

Career statistics


As a player

Newcastle United Linfield


There exists a story whereby Jackie Milburn, met Cardinal Basil Hume. Both unassuming men, they were in awe of each other. After a conversation, the talk moved on and one suggested an autograph would be a good idea. The other agreed. Both men stood back and expected to be the recipient of the autograph, without realising the other man wanted their autograph in return.


External links

1943-46 Newcastle United Wartime League 95 38 2 2 97 40
1946-47 Second Division 24 7 3 1 31 8
1947-48 39 20 1 40 20
1948-49 First Division 34 19 1 35 19
1949-50 30 18 2 3 32 21
1950-51 31 17 8 8 39 25
1951-52 32 25 7 3 39 28
1952-53 16 5 16 5
1953-54 39 16 5 2 44 18
1954-55 38 19 10 2 48 21
1955-56 38 19 4 2 42 21
1956-57 32 12 1 33 12
1957-60 Linfield FC Irish League 54 68 54 68
1948-55 Englandmarker International 13 10

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