Former Blackpool forward Fred Pickering has sadly passed away at the age of 78.
Pickering, who played for Blackpool between 1969 and 1971, died this morning.
He famously scored a hat trick for the Seasiders to effectively relegate arch rivals Preston North End on April 13, 1970, promoting Pool to the old First Division at the same time.
It is often described as Blackpool’s second most-famous hat-trick after Stan Mortensen’s three goals in the famous 1953 FA Cup win.
The former England international scored 24 goals in 49 appearances for the Seasiders during his three-year spell at Bloomfield Road.
Pickering started his career with hometown club Blackburn Rovers in 1959, scoring 59 goals before moving to Everton in 1963.
The Toffees smashed the British domestic transfer record when they paid Rovers £85,000 for him.
After playing for Birmingham City and then Blackpool, Pickering returned to Blackburn for one season, making 11 appearances and scoring two goals.
Pickering bagged a hat-trick on his England debut in the 10-0 win against the USA in 1964, later winning a further two caps under Alf Ramsey, scoring five in total.