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Ken Lee

Ken Lee scored in the 1957 Montagu Cup final for Mexborough Tech Old Boys.  He had played in the 1956 final when the Old Boys were beaten by Dearne Miners' Welfare.
Ken and team-mate, Walt West, provided many photos of schoolboy football teams at Mexborough Tech and later the adult Mexborough Tech Old Boys.  View these photos at:  https://www.montagucup.com/mexborough-tech-old-boys

Ken's goal in the 1957 final was a penalty, taken at the Hampden Road end of the ground.  It was usually Don Lancashire who took them, but he was injured.  At 2-2 in the 88th minute Ken took another penalty and missed (at the other end).  Fortunately, his team went on to win the final in extra time.

Ken's sporting career was cruelly cut short after an accident whilst serving in the Coldstream Guards. Ken had left South Yorkshire in 1958 to join up and was working as a PT instructor when a fall from a vault resulted in a broken neck which left him paralysed for months.

Following a slow rehabilitation, Ken's mobility improved and he was able to work as a sales rep for Dale Browns (later Canning Town Glass).

KEN LEE FOOTBALL CAREER PROFILE                                                        

Ken Lee played for the hugely successful Mexborough Tech Old Boys football team in the 1950’s. He played at inside left and was a prolific goal scorer.  The team were Montagu Cup finalists in 1956 losing to Dearne Community Miners Welfare and went one better the following year 1957 when they defeated Hickleton Main. He scored an equalising goal during the 1957 Montagu Cup final win.

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Ken With the Montagu Cup circa 2000

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Ken at home in 2021

1956 Montagu Cup finalists - Ken Lee is on the front row, second from the right.

1957

1957 Montagu Cup winners - Ken Lee is on the front row, second from the right.

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Photo: Ken with Montagu Cup at 125th Anniversary 2022 Book Launch

Ken was born in Mexborough in 1937.  

Attended Kilnhurst Council Street Junior School followed by Haugh Secondary Modern School at Rawmarsh.

Was a student at Mexborough Schofield Technical School from 1950 to 1952 and represented the school at football and cricket. The Sports Master was Clarrie Mason.

In season 1951-1952 Ken played at centre forward in the MSTS Under 15 football team against local schools teams. In the same season he played at outside right for MSTS Under 18 team (although Mexborough only had students up to 16 years old) which won the South Yorkshire Technical Schools League Cup for the first time ever.  On some occasions Ken played for the School team on a Saturday morning and for the Old Boys team in the afternoon.

Photo: MSTS Under 15 team season 1951-1952 (Existing ‘K’)                                                                                                 Photo: MSTS Under 18 team with SYTS League Cup season 1951-1952 (Existing ‘0’)                               
Photo: MSTS Under 18 players with SYTS League Cup season 1951-1952 (Existing ‘P’)

He joined Mexborough Tech Old Boys Under 18 football team (managed by Clarrie Mason) on leaving school aged 15 in season 1952-1953 and played at outside right in the Mexborough Association League Under 18 League.

Photo: MTOB Under 18 team season 1952-1953 (Existing ‘M’)

Photo: MTOB Under 18 team season 1952-1953 (Existing ‘L’)

In season 1953-1954 Ken played at inside left for Mexborough Tech Old Boys football team in the Mexborough Association Under 18 League. The team won the Mexborough Youth Cup.  

Photo: MTOB Under 18 team season 1953-1954 (Existing ‘10’)

At the start of season 1953-1954, the MTOB Under 18 team attracted the attention of Cliff Duffy, Doncaster Rovers Chief Scout and he was impressed with the performance of the team. Doncaster Rovers were managed by Peter Doherty in the Football League Second Division at that time (ex Northern Ireland international inside forward and Manager of Northern Ireland taking them to the World Cup quarter finals in Sweden 1958).

 

In November 1953 he invited the MTOB Under 18 team to play Doncaster Rovers Northern Intermediate Under 18 team. The game was played under floodlights on their Belle Vue ground, which at that time was one of the few Football League Clubs to have a full size playing pitch and also one of the few to have floodlights. Doncaster Rovers former centre-half, Sid Bycroft, was manager of their Under 18 team. The referee was Ernest Crawford who was a Football League top tier First Division official. Doncaster Rovers were 3-0 up after 15 minutes as MTOB adjusted to the playing conditions. In the second half MTOB scored 6 goals and won 6-4!

 

Peter Doherty said MTOB were the best Under 18 team he had ever seen and contacted Lancashire FA to send the best Under 18 team from the Manchester area to play MTOB Under 18 team on Doncaster Rovers ground under floodlights. MTOB won the game at Doncaster and were challenged to a return game near Old Trafford which they lost on a poor quality pitch.

Ken played for Doncaster Rovers against Sunderland in the Northern Intermediate Under 18 League during season 1953-1954. The Doncaster team included 15 year old Alick Jeffrey  from Rawmarsh (who went on make his debut for Doncaster Rovers first team in the Football League Division 2 in 1954 age 15 years 229 days and then played for England Under 23 team when he was 17).

In season 1954-1955 Ken played at inside left for Mexborough Tech Old Boys in the Mexborough Association League. The team won two trophies: Mexborough Challenge Cup and Invitation Cup.

Photo: MTOB team season 1954-1955 Winners Mexborough Challenge Cup and Invitation Cup (Existing ‘C’)

In season 1955-1956 Mexborough Tech Old Boys were champions of the Mexborough Association League and won four trophies: Mexborough Association League Cup, Mexborough Association Cup (League Top Four Play-Off), Mexborough Challenge Cup and Invitation Cup. The team won every local honour except the Montagu Cup, in which they were beaten 1-2 in the final by Dearne Community Miners Welfare on Denaby United’s ground. Ken played at inside left and scored 36 goal in 33 games including 3 hat-tricks. From 15th October to 2nd April, the team had a run of 25 games without a defeat and never failed to score in any game.

Photo: MTOB 1956 Mexborough Challenge Cup Winning team (Existing)

Photo: MTOB 1956 Mexborough Invitation Cup Winning team (Existing )

Photo: MTOB team season 1955-1956 Winners of 4 trophies with players replicas (Existing ‘N’)

Photo: Ken Lee and Kenny King MTOB season 1955-1956 with trophies and replicas (Existing)

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Ken in his Mexborough Tech Old Boys kit in the 1950s

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Ken during his time in the Coldstream Guards

In the following season 1956-1957 Mexborough Tech Old Boys continued to play in the Mexborough Association League and finished second to Hickleton Main. The team won the Montagu Cup, after a nail biting extra time, defeating Hickleton Main 3-2 at Hampden Road, Mexborough.  MTOB regular penalty taker was Don Lancashire (captain and right half) who injured his knee in a tackle early in the first half and resumed at outside right as a passenger (there were no substitutes in that era).  Shortly afterwards MTOB were awarded a penalty for “hands”. Don was unable to take the penalty and MTOB did not have a nominated deputy. Don asked for volunteers and inside left Ken Lee stepped up as the only volunteer. Ken scored from the spot at the Hampden Road end to equalise the score at 1-1. MTOB were 1-2 down at half-time. In the second half Kenny King (centre-forward) equalised 2-2. With only a few minutes left of normal time Ken Lee was brought down in the Hickleton Main penalty area. The referee awarded a penalty but this time Ken shot wide. He collapsed on the spot such was the suspense of this dramatic game, however he resumed after treatment. Full time came with the score 2-2 to send the game into extra-time. After several near misses during extra-time, MTOB outside left Brian Dutton scored the winning goal with only a few minutes remaining.

 

The team also won the Yorkshire Old Boys Shield, defeating Beverley Old Grammarians (Hull) 2-1 under floodlights on Doncaster Rovers Belle Vue ground. The team also reached the semi-final of the Rotherham Charity Cup, losing 0-3 to Parkgate Welfare in a replay after drawing 3-3. Ken played at inside left and scored 33 goals in 31 games including 4 hat-tricks (he scored 4 goals in the Yorkshire Old Boys Shield semi-final against Old Batelians). He had a run of scoring in 7 successive games. The team started the season with a run of 15 games without defeat and never lost away from home until 16th March.

Photo: MTOB season 1956-1967 Team and Officials Montagu Cup Winners (Existing)                  

Photo: Ken and Brian Dutton MTOB Montagu Cup Winners 1957 (Existing)                                                                              Photo: MTOB season 1956-1957 team dressing room photo before the final of Yorkshire Old Boys Shield on Doncaster Rovers ground against Beverley Old Grammarians

In season 1957-1958 Mexborough Tech Old Boys played in the West Riding Old Boys League. Ken scored 9 goals in 8 games before leaving South Yorkshire in November 1957 to join the Coldstream Guards in London for a 3 year career.

His sporting career was cruelly cut short after an accident whils’t serving in the Coldstream Guards and working as a PT instructor when a fall from a vault resulted in a broken neck which left him paralysed for months.  Following a slow rehabilitation, Ken’s mobility improved and he was able to work as a Sales rep for Dale Browns in Swinton (later Canning Town Glass).

Footnote: Season 1951-1952 was a very good year for MST School team and their progress achievements with MTOB through 1952-1953 and 1953-1954 were outstanding. Most of the players progressed further in MTOB successful trophy winning teams in 1954-1955, 1955-1956 (Montagu Cup Finalists) and 1956-1957 (Montagu Cup Winners). The forward line remained unchanged from 1951-1952 to 1953-1954 and continued with only one change from 1954-1955 to 1956-1957. They all scored a lot of goals. Ken played in the forward line for all these teams.

 

Prepared by Brian Hill MSTS (1952-1955) and MTOB (1955-1963)                                                                                                                           October 2023

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