CHORLEY have led the tributes to their former England striker Paul Mariner, who died yesterday at the age of 68.
Bolton-born Mariner began his career with the Magpies in 1971 when the club were in the Northern Premier League – the highest level of Non-League at that stage, before the advent of the Conference eight years later.
He then moved into the professional game in 1973 with Plymouth Argyle and later Ipswich Town, where he scored 139 goals in 339 games under Bobby Robson in a golden era which saw the Blues win the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup in 1981.
His other clubs included Arsenal and Portsmouth, while winning 35 England caps, scoring 13 times for the Three Lions.
He also had playing and coaching spells in the United States and he managed Plymouth during the 2009-10 season.
But despite his success in the professional game, Mariner never forgot his roots. In an interview with the Lancashire Telegraph in 2014, he said: “People ask me whether I still think about Chorley and I do, nearly every day.
“The club still really means a lot to me. You always need a chance in life and Chorley gave me my chance.
“I broke my leg in my first season there but they really stuck by me.
“They were the ones who changed me from a midfielder to a striker. I never looked back after that.”