Barking saddened by death of long-time supporter Ken Grace

PUBLISHED: 16:48 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:48 08 April 2020

A sign at Barking's Mayesbrook Park ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

A sign at Barking's Mayesbrook Park ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barking Football Club were saddened to hear of the death of long-time supporter Ken Grace, just two days before his 91st birthday.

Long-time Barking supporter Ken GraceLong-time Barking supporter Ken Grace

Having started to follow the club in 1950, following his national service in Singapore, he supported the Blues ‘through thick and thin’.

The usual highs and lows were experienced, but one of the highlights was seeing Barking reach the semi-finals of the Amateur Cup in 1950, when they were playing in the old Athenian League.

Another was their Isthmian League title success in 1979, having been elected to the league in 1952 and moved from Vicarage Field to Mayesbrook Park in 1973.

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Runs to the second round proper of the FA Cup on four occasions during the 1980s were cheered, including the giantkilling of league outfit Oxford United.

But Grace also witnessed the lows of a first-ever relegation in club history in 1991 and Barking’s subsequent drop into the Essex Senior League due to financial problems.

A tribute from fellow Barking supporter Steve Button said: “Ken followed these developments with great enthusiasm until he was forced to stop attending matches after having a leg amputated and being moved into a nursing home.

“Despite this, he continued to take a keen interest in the club’s fortunes and was very pleased when they achieved Isthmian status once more.

“It is very sad that he was unable to carry on watching the team that he had supported for so long.”

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