Ken Armstrong (footballer, born 1924)

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Ken Armstrong
Ken Armstrong (1947).png
Armstrong in a Chelsea team photo, November 1947
Personal information
Full name Kenneth Armstrong
Date of birth (1924-06-03)3 June 1924
Place of birth Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Date of death 13 June 1984(1984-06-13) (aged 60)
Place of death New Zealand
Playing position Wing half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1957 Chelsea 362 (25)
1957–1958 Eastern Union
1959–1964 North Shore United
1965–1966 Eastern Suburbs
1967–1970 North Shore United
1970–1971 Mount Wellington 1 (0)
National team
1955 England 1 (0)
1958–1962 New Zealand 9 (3)
Teams managed
Mount Wellington
1958–1964 New Zealand
1980 New Zealand women
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Kenneth Armstrong (3 June 1924 – 13 June 1984) was an English association football player who represented both England and New Zealand at national level.

Club career[edit]

Born in Bradford, Armstrong served in the RAF during the Second World War. He was a versatile, tough-tackling and energetic midfielder who played mainly for Chelsea, joining the club from Bradford Rovers in 1946 for a fee of 100 guineas. Armstrong was a key member of Ted Drake's 1954–55 Championship-winning Chelsea side, making 39 appearances that season. He played in over 400 games (including a then-club record 362 league games) for the West London club and scored 30 goals.

After leaving Chelsea in 1957 Armstrong emigrated to Gisborne, New Zealand and continued to play football there for several local clubs, including Eastern Suburbs and North Shore United, and won four Chatham Cups. He then took over as manager at Mount Wellington, winning two league titles (in 1972 and 1974) and another Chatham Cup, in 1973. He played his last game in 1971, aged almost 47. Armstrong was later appointed chief coach of the national side.

International career[edit]

Armstrong was a member of England's 1954 World Cup squad[1] but did not travel to Switzerland, remaining in England as one of five players on reserve status.[2] He won a solitary England cap, against Scotland at Wembley in England's famous 7–2 win in the British Home Championship in April 1955.[3]

After emigrating to New Zealand in 1957, Armstrong played a significant part in developing football in his adopted country and played 13 times for the national side,[3] including nine A-internationals[4] in which he scored three goals.[5] In 1991, he was posthumously inducted into the New Zealand Soccer Media Association Hall of Fame.[6]

Management career[edit]

Armstrong managed National League side Mount Wellington, and was player manager of the New Zealand national soccer team from 1958 to 1964, taking charge of 32 games in that period, winning 11, losing 19 and drawing two.[7] In 1980, he took charge of the New Zealand women's national soccer team.[8]


Armstrong's family is well represented in international football. Sons Ron and Brian also represented the All Whites, while Ron's granddaughter Bridgette Armstrong represented New Zealand at senior level and at the 2008 FIFA U-17 and FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups.[9]


Armstrong died in 1984 and his ashes were scattered at Stamford Bridge.[10]



North Shore United
1960, 1961, 1963
Eastern Suburbs


Mount Wellington
1972, 1974


  1. ^ "1954 FIFA World Cup Switzerland – England Squad". FIFA. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  2. ^ "England's World Cup Final Tournament Players". England Football Online. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Ken Armstrong England Statistics". EnglandStats.Com. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "A-International Appearances – Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. 1 June 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "A-International Scorers – Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. 1 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  6. ^ "Hall of fame". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  7. ^ All Whites Coaching Records
  8. ^ Football Ferns Roll of Honour
  9. ^ "NZ girl will continue family football dynasty at under 17 World Cup". 3News (New Zealand). 23 October 2008. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Champions of a different era

External links[edit]