William Pickering

Born: Glasgow, 1894

Died: Iraq, 9 November 1917, aged 23.

Burnley career:

14 appearances,

6 goals

Position: Forward

William Pickering joined Burnley from a Glasgow junior club in August 1912. He was a prolific scorer in Burnley’s reserve team in his first two seasons at Turf Moor and made his First Division debut against Liverpool at Turf Moor in March 1914. Deputising for the great Bert Freeman at centre forward he made an excellent impression, scoring in a 5-2 victory. It was just six weeks before the teams would meet again in the FA Cup final at the Crystal Palace, with the Clarets again victorious after a 1-0 win, although William Pickering did not play in the final.

In December 1914 Burnley reached the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup after victories over Manchester United (5-0), Liverpool (5-1 at Anfield) and Blackburn Rovers (2-1). Prior to the final, against Rochdale at Hyde Road, Manchester, Bert Freeman insisted that William Pickering should lead Burnley’s attack. Pickering stepped in and seized his chance, scoring twice in a 4-1 victory for the Clarets.

Altogether he appeared in 14 League and FA Cup games for Burnley, scoring six times. His final goal for the Clarets came in the very last League match to be played at Turf Moor before the suspension of the Football League, a 2-1 victory against Sunderland in April 1915.

Private William Pickering
1st Seaforth Highlanders
Died of Wounds in Iraq, 9 November 1917, aged 23
Buried in Baghdad North Gate Cemetery, Iraq

His war is over, his sun is set, 
But those who loved him, will never forget. 

Acknowledgements and thanks for additional research are due to the following: 
Ray Simpson,
Peter Briggs, 
Mike Smith, 
Website www.burnleyinthegreatwar.info.