Reg Pickett was a player with ideas before his time

A PLAYER with ideas before his time.

That’s the accolade that has been bestowed upon former Ipswich Town captain Reg Pickett today following his death at the age of 85.

Having helped Portsmouth to successive top-flight titles in 1949 and 1950, Pickett was an established first team professional when a young Ray Crawford – nine years his junior – came on the scene at the south coast club.

And when Pickett was brought to Portman Road by Sir Alf Ramsey in 1957, it was only a year afterwards that Crawford made the same switch.

“He helped me a lot in my early career,” said Crawford, who, like Pickett, moved back down to Portsmouth after his playing career finished.

“Long before coaching really came into the game he used to pull players to one side and tell them where they were going wrong.

“I still remember one game at Blackpool when he stopped me at half-time and said ‘I’d have to be superman to reach those flicked on headers – just nod it back to me!’ That conversation, along with plenty more advice, helped me become a better player.”

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Crawford continued: “Alf (Ramsey) thought a lot of him as a player and a person.

“He was a wing-half – a midfielder in today’s game – and had everything. He could tackle, pass the ball and head it too. I’d compare him to a Paul Scholes from today’s generation. Above all else though he was a real gentleman and lovely family man.”

Following 148 appearances for the Blues, scoring four goals, Pickett joined lower league Stevenage Town in June 1963.

After hanging up his boots he moved back down to the south coast and worked for a gas company, regularly attending ex-Ipswich Town reunion dinners up until the last few years. He passed away at a nursing home near Portsmouth on Sunday.

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