John Pickering (footballer)

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John Pickering
Personal information
Date of birth (1944-11-07)7 November 1944
Place of birth Stockton-on-Tees, England
Date of death 30 May 2001(2001-05-30) (aged 56)
Playing position(s) Centre-back
Youth career
–1965 Newcastle United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1974 Halifax Town 367 (5)
1974–1975 Barnsley 43 (2)
Total 410 (7)
Teams managed
1978–1979 Blackburn Rovers
1985–1986 Lincoln City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Pickering (7 November 1944 – 30 May 2001) was a professional footballer who played as a central defender. He was at Halifax Town from 1965 to 1974 and spent one season with Barnsley. He coached Blackburn Rovers, Carlisle United, Lincoln City, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, and also had short spells as manager at both Blackburn and Lincoln.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Stockton-on-Tees,[1] John was raised in Thornaby-on-Tees[2] where he attended Arthur Head School. He served his apprenticeship with Newcastle United but failed to make the first team and moved on to join Halifax Town in September 1965 for a fee of £1,250.[1] A tough and uncompromising centre-half, he was a mainstay of the Halifax team during his nine years at the club. He was captain of the promotion winning team of 1969 and went on to make a record breaking total of 413 league and cup appearances for the club, including one run of 190 consecutive games.[1] This achieved a notable family double as his uncle Barry Jackson holds the appearance record for York City.

He left Halifax in 1973–74, having made 367 League appearances, and joined Barnsley.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

A highly respected and renowned coach his career involved spells with Blackburn Rovers, Carlisle United, Lincoln City, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough. He also had short spells as manager at both Blackburn and Lincoln.

He spent over ten years coaching with Middlesbrough, initially with the first team before moving to Boro's academy in 1998. He was caretaker manager of Middlesbrough for the final game of the 1993–94 season, steering the team to a 5–2 victory at Charlton Athletic and his service to Middlesbrough was recognised when Bryan Robson gave him the honour of leading the team out at Wembley for the League Cup final against Chelsea.[2]

He died in May 2001 after a long illness.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile at". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Boro pay tribute to Gentleman John". The Northern Echo. 31 May 2001. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  3. ^ Football League Career Stats - Halifax players