Everton Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fred Pickering.
A prolific striker and the most expensive footballer in Britain when Everton paid hometown team Blackburn Rovers £85,000 to sign him in March 1964, Fred died on Saturday 9 February, aged 78.
The thoughts of everybody at Everton Football Club are with Fred’s three children, his family and friends.
Pickering scored a remarkable 70 goals in 115 appearances during three years at Goodison Park to secure his place in the Club’s pantheon of brilliant number nines.
The Lancastrian centre-forward instantly set about vindicating Everton’s decision to part with a record sum for his services, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a 6-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.
Pickering struck nine goals in nine matches immediately following his arrival at Everton, form which earned him a first England cap in May 1964.
He would mark his international debut in stunning fashion, too, hitting a treble as Alf Ramsey’s side beat USA at Wembley. He made two further appearances for the Three Lions and found the net in both matches
Fred Pickering was born in Blackburn on January 19 1941. He joined Blackburn Rovers aged 15 and signed professionally for the club on his 17th birthday.
Originally a defender, Pickering played full-back in the Blackburn team which beat Bobby Moore’s West Ham United to win the FA Youth Cup in 1959.
He scored 59 goals for Rovers before being prised away by Everton.
Pickering scored 37 goals in all competitions in his first full season with Everton in 1964-65 and the following year added another 22
He netted twice more early in the 1967-68 campaign before leaving for Birmingham City in a £50,000 transfer.
Pickering achieved the rare feat of establishing himself as a genuine favourite at a third English club.
He was an ever-present in his first season at St Andrew’s and scored 15 goals as well as helping Birmingham reach the FA Cup semi-final.
Pickering finished his career with spells at Blackpool – where he scored at a rate of a goal every two games across two seasons – and Brighton & Hove Albion, either side of a second stint with Blackburn.