Member of Town cup final side Ken Hawkes has died
Ken Hawkes 6th May 1933 – 2nd February 2015
Everyone at Kenilworth Road was saddened to learn of the death of Ken Hawkes, one of the members of our FA Cup final side of 1959, at the age of 81.
Ken was born in Easington, Co Durham in May 1933 and as befitting someone from the ‘hotbed of soccer’ became interested in football at an early age watching Newcastle one week and Sunderland the next.
The Town’s North East scout, Dick Trembath, who introduced Jack Taylor and Ray Smith to Kenilworth Road, spotted Ken playing for Shotton Colliery Welfare with the upshot that he joined the Hatters 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 Town’s 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, unable to dislodge the likes of Bud Aherne and Les Jones from his favoured left-back slot.
Just at a time when both Southampton and Bristol Rovers were showing interest Ken replaced Jones in a home game against West Brom in December 1957 which the Town won 5-1.
Ken retained his place for the remainder of the campaign and was virtually ever present during the FA Cup final season of 1958/59. His 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 legion. 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 Peterborough in June 1961. A broken arm followed by a cartilage operation restricted his appearances with ‘Posh’ and as he had married a Luton girl and wanted to stay local he enjoyed two seasons at Bedford followed by a spell at St Neots before throwing in his lot with Electrolux with whom he was connected for many years.
A regular visitor to Kenilworth Road until last season, Ken was always happy to be a club ambassador giving talks to corporate guests and helping where he could.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.