Landmark life of Brian

Up the Clarets: Brian and Helen Pilkington celebrate his 80th birthday at the Leyland Offices
Up the Clarets: Brian and Helen Pilkington celebrate his 80th birthday at the Leyland Offices
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He’s 80 years old this week, yet mention football and there’s a real twinkle in the eye of Leyland’s favourite footballing son.

Brian Pilkington, who was capped by England in 1954 and won the First Division title with Burnley in 1960, has achieved another landmark in a remarkable life.

And, amazingly, he’s still very much involved in the football as vice chairman of Chorley.

“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,” he said.

Brian began his football career as a youth player with Leyland Motors then was snapped up by Burnley for whom he made 300 appearances.

After 10 years with the Clarets, he signed for Bolton and in later years, played for Bury, Barrow and Chorley.

Well-known throughout the region, but particularly in Leyland where he has lived virtually all his life, the happy octogenarian loves nothing more than to talk football – and houses.

He said: “The game has given me wonderful experiences.

“It has 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.”

In 1980, Brian struck out on his own – a landmark occasion – and set up as an independent estate agent in Leyland, working in partnership with the Burnley Building Society – who else?

His Hough Lane HQ still sports the Claret colours he initially adopted 33 years ago.

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.”