Brian Pilkington really is a vintage Claret
FORMER Claret Brian Pilkington is celebrating his 80th birthday — 53 years after helping Burnley become champions of England.
Wing wizard Brian played 340 times for the Clarets in a 10-year career and scored the opening goal in the Championship-clinching win at Maine Road in 1960.
Leyland-born Brian, who is also a former magistrate and estate agent, then netted twice in the home leg of the Clarets European Cup clash with Hamburg the following season.
He joined Burnley from Leyland Motors in 1951, won a solitary England cap in 1954 in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland and left for Bolton in 1961.
He remains involved in football though and is vice-chairman of Chorley Football Club.
He said: “Football has always been in my life, I was never bothered about the money, I just enjoyed getting paid for something I loved to do.
“The game has given me wonderful experiences. It’s enabled me to see the world, brought lots of friends and a lifetime of enjoyment.
“After retirement from the game Trevor Hemmings, who I knew from school, encouraged me to join him in selling houses. I enjoyed the work, meeting people, lots of variety and I think I was quite good at it.
”I look back very fondly on my ten years at Burnley. Obviously winning the league title was the highlight.
“It wouldn’t be fair to single out individuals that I enjoyed playing with most. We were a real team. Unfortunately the club hasn’t quite reached the same level since.”
In 1980, Brian struck out on his own and set up as an independent estate agent in Leyland, working in partnership with the Burnley Building Society, and his company still sports the Claret and Blue colours.
These days, Brian Pilkington Estate Agents is run by Helen Pilkington, Brian’s daughter-in-law. Helen said: “It was another landmark when Brian stood down in 2000 but he’s never far away and still takes an active interest in the business.
“He loves to come in and chat — and to sign autographs.
“Lots of people know him, remember him playing and we regularly get letters asking for his signature.”