Brian celebrates a life of football and business

Leyland’s favourite footballing son - and estate agent - has turned 80 but there's still a twinkle in his eye for the beautiful game and for business. Brian Pilkington, who was capped by England in 1954 and won the First Division title with Burnley FC’s finest-ever line-up in 1960, has achieved another landmark in a remarkable life. And, remarkably, he’s still very much involved in the ‘beautiful game’ as Vice Chairman of Chorley FC. “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 laughed. Brian began his football career as a youth player with Leyland Motors, 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. “The game has given me wonderful experiences. It’s 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 added: “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.” Congratulations and Happy 80th birthday, Brian Pilkington, here’s to the next great landmark. pic: Up the Clarets: Brian and Helen Pilkington celebrate his birthday at the Leyland Offices