Born 6 May 1933 in Easington, County Durham – died 2 February 2015.
Befitting someone from the ‘hotbed of soccer’, Ken became interested in football at an early age watching Newcastle one week and Sunderland the next.
Luton Town’s North East scout, Dick Trembath, spotted Ken playing for Shotton Colliery Welfare with the upshot that he joined the Hatters as a trainee in October 1951.
Progressing straight from the ‘A’ team to the reserves, Ken was then called up for National Service where he was stationed in Oswestry but seemed to spend most of his time playing football for various Forces sides as well as securing a regular release to play for the Luton reserves.
After leaving the Army it was back to Kenilworth Road where it was quite some time before he made his breakthrough into the first team.
Just at a time when both Southampton and Bristol Rovers were showing interest Ken replaced Luton Town’s left back Les Jones in a home game against West Bromwich Albion in December 1957 which the Luton won 5-1.
Ken retained his place for the remainder of the campaign and was virtually ever present for the Hatters during the 1958/59 season with Ken playing for Luton in the FA Cup final of 1959 where Luton were beaten by Nottingham Forest 2-1. Ken’s tales of the lackadaisical preparation for the Cup final including being woken late at night, with the game only hours away, by a supporter wanting tickets were legend. This was the downside to living in a club house in Kenilworth Road.
Following the break-up of the Cup final side and the Town’s eventual relegation from the top flight, Ken suffered injuries and when fit again found things had changed and decided to move to the Posh in June 1961.
Jimmy Hagan paid £2,000 however a broken arm, cracked ribs followed by a cartilage operation all in a ten month period restricted his appearances with the Posh to just 1 first team appearance – versus Lincoln City at London Road on the 21st October 1961 which Posh won 5-4.
Released on a free transfer by Hagan in June 1962, Ken moved to non league side Bedford Town where he played for two seasons. Following Bedford Ken had a spell at St Neots including time as player coach whilst working as a sales representative for a wholesale food company. He was also connected to Electrolux for many years.
Ken, who married a Luton girl, lived local to Luton and was a regular visitor to Kenilworth Road until the 2013/14 season. He was always happy to be a club ambassador giving talks to corporate guests and helping where he could.
Ken’s younger brother Barry also played League football for teams including Luton Town, Darlington and Hartlepools Utd.
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