Football boss' message delight for Ron on his 100th birthday

A Fylde man battled back from a stay in hospital of almost two weeks to enjoy his 100th birthday celebrations – and one surprise scored particularly highly with him.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Ron Pickup is a lifelong Burnley FC fan who has lived in St Annes for more than 30 years.

Less than a fortnight before his milestone birthday, he suffered a fall at his Beach Road home and spent 13 nights in Blackpool Victoria Hospital before being discharged 48 hours ahead of the big day.

His family arranged decorations and other celebratory items for the event, all following the Covid rules, but the biggest hit on the day was a video message to Ron from Clarets manager Sean Dyche which had been arranged by Ron’s granddaughter Bronya.

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“He’s from Burnley originally and has been fan all his life. He’s delighted they are back in the top division and to see a greeting from the manager really made his day.

“We were so pleased he was able to come home in time for his birthday. After a fall at home, he had to have his lungs drained but he had such great care at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the celebrations were able to go ahead, restricted as they were by the Covid rules.

“Last year, a family meal we had planned for his 99th coincided with the day the first lockdown came into effect so we wanted to make it as special an occasion as we could this year. Hopefully we can get together for a bigger celebration later in the year.”

Ron spent his whole working life working for the building society which initially bore Burnley’s name and later merged with the National and Provincial and then that was absorbed by the Abbey National, now Santander. He retired 40 years ago.

Ron was married for 69 years to wife Dorothy, who died in 2019 aged 98.

They had two sons, Duncan and Brian, and there are three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ron served in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War, based mostly in Malta.

A keen sportsman in his youth, he has long been a staunch supporter of the RNLI.

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