Ken Willingham

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Ken Willingham
Personal information
Full name Charles Kenneth Willingham
Date of birth (1912-12-01)1 December 1912
Place of birth Ecclesfield, Sheffield, England
Date of death May 1975 (aged 62)
Place of death Dewsbury, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Right half
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1928–1930 Worksop Town 0 (0)
1930–1945 Huddersfield Town 247 (4)
1945–1947 Sunderland 14 (0)
1947–1948 Leeds United 35 (0)
National team
1937–1939 England 12 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Charles Kenneth "Ken" Willingham (1 December 1912 – May 1975) was a professional footballer, born in Sheffield. As a school boy he captained the Yorkshire Schools' team and won the half-mile county running championship.

Football career[edit]

After playing for Ecclesfield, he joined Worksop Town in 1928 at the age of 16. He became a member of Huddersfield's ground staff at Leeds Road in 1930,[1] before signing professionally for Huddersfield Town in 1930, where he spent most of his playing career. Whilst there he played in the 1938 FA Cup Final (which was the first FA Cup Final to be transmitted live on British television) in which Huddersfield Town lost 1–0 to Preston North End.

He holds the record for the fastest ever goal scored by a Huddersfield Town player, against Sunderland on 14 December 1935, putting the ball in the back of the net after just ten seconds, with his fourth touch of the ball.[2] He is also in the top 100 Huddersfield Town players as voted for by the fans as their favourite players.

He was capped twelve times for England, scoring on his debut against Finland in an 8–0 win. He also made six appearances for England during the war, as well as representing the Football League on another six occasions.[1]

After World War II, in which he worked in the steel industry in Sheffield, he signed for Sunderland where he made fourteen appearances. He later signed for Leeds United as a player-coach[1] in 1947 before retiring a year later to become the landlord of the Hopewell Inn in Hunslet. He briefly returned to the game in 1952, where he became coach at Halifax Town.

International career details[edit]

Match Date Opponent Stadium Score Result Goals
20 May 1937 Finland Töölön Pallokenttä 0–8 (W) 1
9 April 1938 Scotland Wembley 0–1 (L) 0
14 May 1938 Germany Olympia 3–6 (W) 0
21 May 1938 Switzerland Hardturm 2–1 (L) 0
26 May 1938 France Yves du Manoir 2–4 (W) 0
22 October 1938 Wales Ninian Park 4–2 (L) 0
26 October 1938 Rest of Europe Highbury 3–0 (W) 0
9 November 1938 Norway St James' Park 4–0 (W) 0
16 November 1938 Ireland Old Trafford 7–0 (W) 0
15 April 1939 Scotland Hampden Park 1–2 (W) 0
13 May 1939 Italy San Siro 2–2 (D) 0
18 May 1939 Yugoslavia BSK 2–1 (L) 0


Huddersfield Town


  1. ^ a b c Graham Betts (2006). England: Player by player. Green Umbrella Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 1-905009-63-1. 
  2. ^ "Jevon's goal not quickest". 11 February 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008. 

External links[edit]