MEXBOROUGH’S record-setting, goal-scoring soccer star will be honoured with a posthumous plaque in his home town.
Historian Bill Lawrence and borough councillor Sean Gibbons teamed up to lobby Premier League giants Manchester City for public recognition for City’s late great winger Eric Brook, whose record goal total was overhauled by striker Sergio Aguero last October.
And the pair were delighted when the runaway league leaders wrote back agreeing to cover the cost of a blue plaque in Mexborough, thought to be between £400 and £500.
A spokesman for Manchester City wrote to Cllr Gibbons, confirming the club would be “happy to provide a plaque”, with the design still to be discussed.
Now work is underway to firm up details of the design for the public tribute, including wording hailing Eric as “one of the greatest professional footballers of his generation”.
Cllr Gibbons called City’s agreement to get involved “fantastic news”.
He added: “We need to meet with trustees of Mexborough Athletic to agree a suitable for the plaque to be erected.
“I am informed that Eric used to live at 20 Hampden Road so it would possibly be good in a prominent position near to that location, maybe on the cricket pavilion.”
Mexborough & District Heritage Society secretary Bill said: “I wrote to Man City, as did Sean and I understand Ed Miliband did, too.
“I’m absolutely delighted about it and we are now going to make arrangements for how to make it happen.
“We found out this week that City are now the richest club in the world so the money shouldn’t be a problem.”
Eric bagged 158 league goals and 19 in cup goals for City between 1928 and 1939, as well as 18 for England.
Described as a muscular player with a fierce shot, he is in Manchester City’s Hall of Fame and was regarded as one of City’s and England’s greatest pre-war players.
Manchester City historian David Clayton described how he would “regularly thump home penalties with venom”.
Eric won the league title and FA Cup with City but his career was finished after he was injured in a car crash while travelling to play an international game against Scotland.
It is believed he returned to Mexborough after the Second World War for a brief time to become a bus or coach driver and later worked as a barman and a crane operator.
He died in Wythenshawe in March 1965 at the age of 58.
Bill said his research had uncovered that Eric lived in Arnold Crescent, Mexborough, after the war and there was a Kate Brook and a Fred Brook living with him.
After we told Eric’s story last year, a nephew, also called Eric Brook, came forward and revealed how he had one of Eric’s England shirts.
Bill said Sergio Aguero would be a great candidate for unveiling the plaque but added: “Failing that, who better than John Stones who, like Eric, started at Barnsley and now plays for Manchester City and England.
“It would be great to see him come and unveil the plaque as he must be in the area to see his family quite regularly.”