Folkestone Invicta lost one of its best-loved supporters when Ken Arnold passed away in the early hours of Saturday October 14th at the age of 97.
His beloved wife Violet had passed away on September 29th, aged 98.
Ken was admitted to Saltwood Care Home in early 2023. He was watching the football until Covid when he stopped to care for Violet.
Having played at a good standard of football in Surrey before injury stopped him, Ken moved to Folkestone in 1959.
He had been a bustling centre forward or centre back for Kingswood Wanderers and played against clubs that Folkestone Invicta would later come up against such as Chipstead (the local derby), Merstham and Redhill. He would point out some of his old haunts as the Invicta coach would make its way through the leafy streets of Surrey.
After watching the old Folkestone club, Ken was dragged along to watch Folkestone Invicta when they started playing in the Southern (Dr Martens) League in the late 1990s before their switch to the Isthmian League and he was a regular supporter both at home and away.
Ken spent a lot of time at the club painting, fixing and repairing many a broken dressing room door as well as collecting used, washed aluminium cans and 1p and 2p coins at the Club Shop which became his regular home alongside Geoff Senior. Ken – who was always ready to contribute and join in with any of the club/Supporters’ Club’s fundraising activities – was also renowned for the high standard of his hot tea.
“I used to have the pleasure of sitting next to Ken on the coach to away games where we’d bemoan England’s latest cricket calamities, he’d have an even bigger smile than usual if Arsenal were doing well (it must have been some form of rebellion that son Clive chose to support Tottenham) and I’d rib him about how he’d still refer to Surrey County Cricket Club as ‘we’”, said secretary Richard Murrill. “Ken used to bring extra sandwiches to share with me which was always most welcome and much-needed – I think that act of kindness was initially Vi’s suggestion which shows the sort of people they were.”
Club Shop man Geoff Senior paid his own tribute: “Ken was for many years an active member of the original ‘fixit’ crew and of the Supporters’ Club and its many functions. This genial chap was always ready with a smile and banter, particularly if it related to an Arsenal win or his uncanny ability to win at raffles, draws, 50/50 and golden goals.”
“Ken had been a regular ‘away’ bus tripper particularly to his old Surrey stomping grounds but as time and health took its toll he was only able to come to home matches where he would sit at “Ken’s Perch” in the Club Shop with a tea, a bacon roll and always a smile.
Sadly he had been absent from our presence for some time. To his many friends present or previously departed, he was an easy man to like – you will be missed Ken.”
Everyone who met him will have their own memories of Ken, a truly genuine person who nobody will have had a bad word to say about.
A true club man with a smile for everyone.
Our thoughts are with Clive, Frances and Lawrence.
Violet’s funeral takes place at Hawkinge at 10.30am on Tuesday October 31st.
Ken’s funeral details to follow.