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Announcements > Remembering Old Wulfrunians > Ken Millard (OW 1956)

Ken Millard (OW 1956)

Ken Millard (OW 1956) sadly passed away on 9 September 2023, aged 83.

Ken Millard (OW 1956) sadly passed away on 9 September 2023, aged 83.

The following message was shared with OWA members on 10 September 2023:

It is with intense sadness that I have to advise you that Ken Millard passed away in New Cross Hospital yesterday morning. He would have been 84 in a month's time.

As many of you will be aware, Ken had been suffering from MS for nigh on 40 years, but in the recent past other complications began to take their toll, culminating in his being hospitalised a couple of days after Christmas, Thereafter, he was having hospital treatment, residence in a local care home and then a brief spell back home. However, his condition worsened a couple of weeks or so ago and by last Wednesday it was obvious that, this time, there would be no recovery.

His close friend Ray Lally and I, being in very regular contact, realised that Ken's days were ebbing away and so we separately went to see him for the last time and said our sad goodbyes. Ken was completely comatose and neither of us thought that he would last the day, but he fought on until he passed peacefully away yesterday morning.

Ken was a great supporter of the OWFC, having played in goal for many years and then being a regular attendee at  both the club games and AFC,  and the OW club in general. He was, indeed something of a legend, and he will be sadly missed by so many.

I will advise members in due course of the funeral arrangements.

Tony Phillips (OW 1961) 


Eulogy

Ken was born on 17th October 1939, at the family home on the Bridgnorth Road in Compton. His Mum had been given the opportunity to give birth at the Women’s Hospital but declared that if she was going to get bombed by the Germans during delivery, it would be in her own home!

The only child of Hubert and Kathleen, as a baby born at the start of World War 2, Ken remembered running down his road after the convoys of American soldiers, shouting “Any gum chum?!”, often being rewarded with packets of chewing gum thrown out to him by the soldiers. Once, not just a packet, but a whole box came his way while he was on his own. This box ended up being hidden under his bed and the gum lasted ages as he would bite each piece in half!

Ken attended St. Jude’s Infants and Junior Schools and continued his education at Wolverhampton Grammar School, back in the days before fees and girls! He was very proud of attending the Grammar, although he was the first to admit he was not always the model pupil. He formed a gang with his mates calling themselves ‘The Sewer Rats’ and would spend their break times mucking about in the large drains running through the school grounds or scrumping for apples in the bottom field. He sang in the choir at Christ Church Tettenhall-Wood and acted with an amateur dramatics club.

Ken loved most sports, and in the early 50’s started going to The Molineux to watch Wolves play. On one occasion they were playing a club from North London. He liked the way they played and that away team won the match, from that moment Arsenal became his team, and visitors to his home were greeted on arrival by a huge Arsenal flag. He could relax by closing his eyes and playing a football match in his head real time, kick by kick, the outcome only known at the final whistle, with his team not always victorious.

Ken spent a lot of his childhood at his parent’s caravan in Clarach Bay and had very happy memories of summers there with his pals and trips to the local pubs in Aberystwyth. He loved the sun and during the summer months sported possibly the best tan you will ever see. He loved holidays abroad including the South of France and the Caribbean, a place he loved, especially Barbados, the laid-back lifestyle and the rum!!

His father had been a soldier in World War I and this ignited a fascination for Ken that led to many trips over to the Battlefields of France with his great friend Tony. Holidays that he held dear.

He spoke of the absolute joy and revelation of hearing an Elvis song for the first time. Music that was so different from anything he’d heard before, and he would recount his times as a Teddy boy, meeting in the Milano Coffee Bar, a cellar located in Darlington Street, the kind of place your parents warned you about, but Ken loved it.

He continued his association with the Grammar School as an Old Wulfrunian and played for 34 years as goalkeeper. He could always be heard yelling ‘encouragements’ at his teammates from between the posts and then from the sideline after hanging up his boots.

Ken married Judith and together they had 2 daughters, Justine and Samantha. He would joke about being ‘surrounded by females’, even all the family pets were girls too. This followed on with grandchildren, and the arrival of his beloved granddaughters Eleanor and Kate. He was very proud of all his girls. Always supportive and encouraging in whatever they wanted to do.

Ken spent his working life as an accountant and whilst never a fan of a suit, it was a career he liked, even after retirement his working mind never left him, and he still used to enjoy getting his books in order and balanced.

A speed freak – Ken had a passion for fast and fancy cars. He never knowingly drove slowly, the faster the better as anyone who has ever had the pleasure of being a passenger with him will attest to! Whether that was seeing who could drive from the Mermaid to Bridgnorth the quickest or hurtling back from Wales over the border into England to catch the later pub closing times, Ken pretty much drove it like he stole it. He also enjoyed buying old cars, doing them up, tatting about with them endlessly and taking them to car shows. He was a very proud Dellow owner.

Ken had lived with Multiple Sclerosis for almost 40 years. This, nor his age, did not slow him down. He was physically strong and stubborn!! And carried on living his life on his terms as best he could. He had a far better social life than many people half his age and even had his driving licence renewed at the beginning of this year. A character in the very best sense of the word who lived his life the way he wanted. Ken was 83 when he died. Not a bad innings.

Everyone here will have a story to tell of a memory of Ken to make them smile.He was loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed. Rest in peace Ken.

 

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