Tributes are paid to former Banbury Utd player who worked at the Banbury Guardian, who died last week

Tributes are being paid to Mick Kennard, a well-known former player for Banbury Spencer and Banbury United FC player, who died last Monday, December 28.

Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Monday, 4th January 2021, 1:02 pm
Mick Kennard, who passed away on December 28.

Mr Kennard, 85, was working as a compositor for the Banbury Guardian when he made his debut with Banbury Spencer in October 1960 in a Birmingham League home game against Hednesford.

In its appreciation of Mr Kennard's contribution to Banbury football, Banbury Utd FC said: "He would go on to be a regular in the Spencer side for the remainder of that season, making a total of 27 appearances.

"The next four seasons before the club became Banbury United saw Mick clock up another 96 appearances. As a full back he was not expected to feature on the score-sheet but did get forward to score one goal for the club in a Birmingham Senior Cup home game against Moor Green on October 17, 1964, Spencer winning the Second Round game 3-0 with Mick scoring the second goal.

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The Banbury Spencer reserve team with Michael Kennard, back row, third from right

"Mick remained with the club when it became Banbury United in the summer of 1965 and would add a further five first team appearances to his name between 1965/66 and 1968/69 seasons. His last appearance for the club was as a substitute away to Wellington Town in a Midland Floodlit Cup game on Monday September 23, 1968. In total Mick made 128 first team appearances for the club."

Michael John Kennard was born in Windsor Street, Banbury on August 28, 1935, the family moving to South Street when he was four-years-old.

His daughter Dianne says he recalled hiding in the cellar when the wartime sirens went off.

Mr Kennard worked for EW Brown - the legendary cake shop - and pushed the cart (now displayed in Banbury Museum) to the company's two shops from the cook house in Castle Street.

Mick Kennard, in action for Banbury Spencer FC

He started his apprenticeship as a compositor and typesetter at the Banbury Guardian in 1953. His future wife, Angela Allen was an employee, later advertising manager at the paper which was then located in Parsons Street. Daughter Dianne said: "She spotted him the moment he came to look round before he started his apprenticeship."

Between 1957 - 1959 Mr Kennard did his National Service in the RAF signals in Embankment - 150 steps underground in London.

He married Angela at Christ Church, Broad Street in 1958 and in 1959 went back to the Banbury Guardian. He was involved in production of the paper's first edition with colour in 1962.

He later joined Woodrow Wyatt's publishing business and became works manager there. After working at Goodhead Press in Bicester he retired from print and became court usher at Banbury Magistrates Court in 1974.

Mick Kennard helped produce newspapers but hit the headlines himself

Mr Kennard lived in Hanwell for more than 30 years with Angela. He leaves three children David, Diane and Sarah, three grandchildren, Ian, Faye and Harriet and two great grandchildren, Joshua and Benjamin.

Banbury Utd FC said: "Everyone at Banbury United would like to send their sincere condolences to Mick’s family and friends at this difficult time."

As well as first team appearances, Mick made many for the club’s reserve side. Our photo shows Spencer’s reserve team, taken in October 1962, with Mick on the back row, third from the right. The full listing of players in this squad photo is as follows:

Back, l - r, Ernie Barnes (trainer/manager), David Morgan, George Blaxland, Geoff Puffett, MK Johnson, Mick Kennard, Brian Stone, Mick Matthews.

Christ Church, Broad Street - now flats - where Mick Kennard and Angela Allen married

Front l - r, John Fletcher, Ken Richardson, Trevor Jones, Tom McGarrity, Tommy Adams, John Perrin.