(Picture- Ken with Frank Hill former captain of his Football team)
Sad news for all my former colleagues and all our friends over the decades who knew Ken Spence. Over the New Year Ken passed away, after a long illness.
Those of us who knew Ken will have known him in many guises. I got to know Ken from the 60’s, when I first signed for the Football team he was running (The Royal London FC) and we went into the 7th Division of the Wolverhampton Sunday League. That Club morphed into Springfield Football Club as Ken and Jean took up the Stewardship of the Club. There were some good footballers that played for Ken.
Ken was very much a man’s man. He loved a joke, he played terrible practical jokes on people. He was a good organiser, a very brave (Nuts) Goalkeeper! He was always quick to make friends and he had such a wide range of people he had become friends with.
I first met Ken in Ashmore Park. I lived in Millbank Street, Ken and Jean lived on Kitchen Lane with their three young girls, Gayle Jayne and Lynne. I think that I was introduced to Ken in those days by Steven Skitt who lived in Thornley Road and who was already playing for the newly formed Royal London team.
In those days Ken worked for Taylors of Stoke on Trent, a kind of travelling salesman, before that I think he was a Milkman, then he became a Postman, he run the Stars Newsagents on Ashmore Park for a short time. He was one of the original guys who worked for Wolverhampton Wanderers supporting the Club with sales of the clubs’ various commercial deals with the supporters. I used to take the mickey out of him in that Gold and Black van he used to drive about in. You could see it everywhere!
But Ken and Jean became very well known as the Stewards of a number of Social and Working Men’s Clubs here in the city. Ken and Jean ran the Jones Road WMC, Springfield WMC, Chillington WMC and the Heath Town WMC. He also was the Secretary of the Wolverhampton Sunday League.
He was a good organiser and most people liked his character, and his ‘hail fellow well met, attitude to life’.
I have a very clear image in my mind as I type out this communication, of a great bloke, who loved his family, and who loved life, as long as there was an element of football in it! Wolverhampton and Wednesfield will miss this man, as will the football family who knew him, met him, came across him. This is not an obituary. It is just a communication to inform you of this really fantastic bloke passing.
Both Mary and I want to offer our sympathy and condolences to Ken’s wife Jean, Daughters Gayle and Lynne. Sadly, Ken and Jean lost their other daughter Jayne in 2018. I am sure that Jayne would have met him as he ‘crossed over’ on January 1st 2022.
I will be writing a much more fulsome tribute later.
Ken’s funeral is Monday 24th January Bushbury Crematorium West Chapel. 3pm