Object In Focus: Jackie Milburn Medal for top 100 players 1888-1988 and Child’s Bear Ipswich football club.
Jackie Milburn was a footballer who is most associated with Newcastle United and the England national team. Jackie was born in Ashington on the 11th of May in 1924, he is fondly known as ‘Wor Jackie’ and is a source of local pride. Alongside World Cup winning duo, Jackie and Bobby Charlton, Milburn is a testament to the regions love and prestige in football.
The medal for top 100 players represents the years 1946- 1957, including the year of the NUFC’s 1951 FA cup win, showing that Milburn was the most recognised player of his generation in the prime of his career. The medal is in a small navy blue box with the logos of The Football League and The Professional Footballers Association printed in gold, The manufacturer is inscribed on the inside of the box, ‘Vaughtons Ltd. Badges and Medals, Birmingham’.
Twenty years later, the child’s bear is a memento from Milburn’s career at Ipswich football club where he was manager at Ipswich Town after his retirement, from the 1st of May 1963 to the 8th of September 1964. The bear is brown with a plastic face and painted features, including red lips and smiling eyes. The bear is covered with numerous pin badges recording a German tour and the teams they played against in the early 1960s. Alongside the medal, this bear demonstrates Milburn’s footballing prowess both on and off the pitch.
Jackie Milburn began his career in football on his eighth birthday when his parents bought him a pair of football boots, after that “football dominated his life”. Milburn was inspired to attend the trials for Newcastle United prior to the 1943-44 season, and after seeing his performance, Newcastle United manager Stan Seymour “asked him to sign on the spot”. Milburn’s official registration as a Newcastle United player on a part time basis came on the 23rd of August 1938. In 1943 Milburn scored his first goal for Newcastle United against Bradford City and in the same year he was transferred to Woodhorn colliery as a fitter.
One of Milburn’s biggest achievements was his role in the 1951 FA Cup final in which he scored both winning goals against Blackpool at Wembley.
Twenty years apart, the medal and the bear span the multifaceted and extensive career of this much-loved Ashington football legend.
Jackie Milburn: A Man of Two Halves. Mainstream Publishing. pp. 2–3
Kirkup, Mike (1990). Jackie Milburn in Black and White. Stanley Paul & Co. p. 17.
Blog post written by Collections Volunteer, Lucy Davison.
Object researched by Collections Volunteer, Lucy Davison.