Sadly the news has filtered through of the death of former PNE player, Ken Waterhouse who died on the 4th April, aged 85, in the Royal Lancaster Hospital.
Ken, who could play half-back or inside forward, must have had some patience as he quietly waited five years in the reserves and ‘A’ team before being handed his long-awaited league debut. That came about on Christmas Day 1953, away at Turf Moor versus Burnley. He was given the number ten shirt that day which ended in a close 2-1 defeat.
Preston North End had so many players on their books in the 1950’s and competition for places was fierce. The following season, 1954-1955, he managed another eight appearances and chipped in with three goals, all in the same game, scoring his hat trick in the away game at Charlton Athletic.
Further goals against Blackpool and Manchester United was not enough to guarantee Ken a regular first team spot and having playing in five different positions for the team he was transferred to Rotherham United in 1958 along with Bobby Foster for a combined fee of £4,800.
One passing thought is that the day he scored against Manchester United, seven of that Manchester United team he played against tragically died in the Munich air disaster. With Rotherham he appeared in the very first League Cup final versus Aston Villa and later played at Bristol City and Darlington. He then was appointed player/manager of Morecambe F.C. but a broken leg ended his playing career.
Ken, a qualified coach, left Morecambe for a short spell to join the coaching staff at Blackburn Rovers but soon returned to Morecambe as manager once again.
Ken, a quiet man, will be missed in his community and by all at the PNE Former Players’ Association and our condolences go out to his wife and friends. A funeral date has not yet been arranged.