Charity match organised in tribute to Daventry football hero

Ken Barton, centre, is Drayton Grange FC's honorary president
Ken Barton, centre, is Drayton Grange FC's honorary president

A match in tribute to a man who “brought football to Daventry” while dedicating half a century to the sport will take place later this month.

Ken Barton was recognised for his tireless work earlier this year by the Northamptonshire Football Association during a special ceremony, and now Terry O’Neill, a friend of Mr Barton’s, has organised a charity match on Sunday, July 30.

Among Mr Barton’s achievements in grassroots football in the area were the founding of Drayton Grange FC and the creation of the Daventry & District Sunday Football League in 1975.

“A lot of people that have come into contact with Ken and who have played for Drayton Grange and also been part of Daventry Sunday League have a lot of respect for him,” said Terry.

“We thought it was a fitting tribute to the man himself because he brought football to Daventry, in many ways.

“We would love to repay him by showing our respect with a football game in tribute to him.”

Born in London Mr Barton is a lifelong Chelsea fan so, as part of the celebrations, Terry has managed to get Blues legend Kerry Dixon to attend the event at Daventry Town Football Club.

A 36-page programme is being put together which will highlight Mr Barton’s achievements and successes in football throughout the years.

“It’s all about saying thanks for his years in football,” said Terry.

“It seemed fitting for us to do this and to get a Chelsea representative to come down because he is a big fan. He used to go up and down the country to follow the Blues.

“He’s a total football man.”

The match itself will feature two teams of 15 players, and Terry said that more players are always welcome. If you want to take part in the game there is a £50 sponsorship fee.

There will be bouncy castles and face painting for children, as well as tombolas and raffles, with doors opening at 11am before the match kicks off at 2pm.

Fundraising will be carried out on behalf of Football for Charity which will donate any money raised to the British Lung Foundation and the Danetre Hospital’s Cawthorne Ward, where Mr Barton has been treated previously.

“I’m expecting a good turn out. It would be good for people that know Ken to come out and say hello to him,” said Terry.

“I’d like to thank Daventry Town FC for hosting the event.”

He added: “I’d also like to thank everybody for their raffle items and advertising in the programme.”

Anyone wishing to advertise in the programme, or wishing to set up a table top stall, or to find out more should contact Terry on terrystats@aol.com.