Northampton Town pay tribute to entertainer Des O'Connor, who has died aged 88

Celebrity was evacuated to Northampton during Second World War and played for reserves team

Monday, 16th November 2020, 8:58 am
Des O'Connor
Des O'Connor

Northampton Town paid tribute this morning to the entertainer, Des O'Connor, who has died overnight, aged 88.

Mr O'Connor's agent released a statement to the national media about the sad news.

The celebrity always had a soft spot for Northampton. He was born in East London on January 12, 1932, and was evacuated to Northampton during the Second World War.

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He had a love of football and played for the Cobblers reserve team while he was living in the town.

This morning, a spokesperson for Northampton Town posted a message on Twitter this morning: "We are very sorry to learn of the passing of Des O’Connor. Des famously played for our reserve team on a few occasions just after World War 2. Our thoughts are with all who knew Des."

Former club historian Frank Grand recalled in 2004: "It was just after the war and the club were giving trials to just about any young lad who came along.

"Des played for the colts and the reserves but the reserves were in the United Counties League and the standard of play wasn't very high."

Mr O'Connor was nicely self-deprecating about his own talents: "I played wing and was very fast... unfortunately, I often forgot to take the ball with me."

The statement from Mr O'Connor's agent said the star was "a joy to work with - he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional".

"He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen. He adored his family - they were everything to him. He is survived by his wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.

"Jodie's world is shattered, she and Adam and Des's daughters are hurting more than you could possibly imagine.

"Des was the ultimate entertainer. He loved being on stage - entertaining a live audience.

"He always said the sound of laughter was like the sound of heavenly music.

"He had a fabulous international TV career, presenting his own prime-time TV shows for over 45 years.

"On stage he starred at almost every leading venue throughout the world."