Reg Pickett in his Portsmouth FC days.
A PASSIONATE sportsman who played for Portsmouth Football Club has died, aged 85.
Reginald Arthur Pickett, known as Reg, was born in India, where his father was stationed in the army, on January 6, 1927, but moved back to England when he was just three months old.
The second youngest of seven children, Mr Pickett’s family settled in Dover, where he grew up and attended school.
He served briefly in the navy towards the end of the war. Afterwards, Mr Pickett began his footballing career at Weymouth.
He was transferred to first division champions Portsmouth in 1949, where he made 14 league appearances and won a championship medal after Portsmouth claimed the title again.
Mr Pickett left Portsmouth in 1957, after 128 appearances, and was transferred to Ipswich Town by manager Alf Ramsay.
In 1953, Mr Pickett married his first wife, Betty, and they had four children, Gaby, Raymond, Michael and Adam.
At Ipswich, he was made captain and led them to the second division crown in 1961, the same season Portsmouth dropped down to division three, and a year later stunned the sporting world as they took first division victory.
Mr Pickett ended his footballing days at Stevenage.
He went to work on the tugs at Portsmouth Dockyard until his retirement at 60 and was on one of the tugs bringing the Mary Rose home after she was raised in 1982.
In 1973 he married his second wife, Phyllis, an Islander, and in 1974 the couple moved to St Helens.
Mrs Pickett, who was born in Ryde, said: "Reg said to me, 'would you like to go home?’"
Sport was always part of Mr Pickett’s life and he helped his golf club win their centenary championship, spent time football coaching youngsters at St Helens and joined a darts team at his local.
Mr Pickett leaves his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.