A Tribute to Ken Knight - Col Counsell
05 November 2020
THERE WILL ONLY EVER BE ONE NUMBER 7. KEN KNIGHT OAM 4/5/34 - 4/11/20
There are probably many Chelsea players who have carried the No 7 over the years but for me there is only one No 7 – Ken Knight, the Captain/Coach of Chelsea 2nds throughout our golden age – the sixties. A beautifully balanced centre-man with consummate skills on both sides of the body, No7 was a treat to watch weaving his way through traffic in the centre of the oval.
We were just kids, really, having come straight out of the under 17’s and playing against men for the first time. Our leader was like a mother hen, nurturing, guiding, encouraging, teaching, protecting and admonishing at times but always showing us the way and preparing us for the senior side. His half-time speeches were delivered from the heart and, on one occasion, in particular, focussed on stressing the need to avoid the ‘rough stuff’ that had been threatening to erupt earlier in the game. This speech demonstrated Ken’s true leadership as he managed to start a fight within five minutes of resuming play as he set about squaring off with an opposition player who had been ‘looking for it all day’. It would be fair to say that No 7 was a little bit feisty at times.
No 7 had an enormous and enduring influence on Chelsea’s dominance of the competition during the sixties. He provided the senior team with a constant stream of talented young players, many of whom became premiership players due, in many respects, to his guidance through that transition period into manhood. Those who understood football could see the impact that he had on the success enjoyed by the senior team. We can all be grateful for having such a marvellous role model to show us the way. I’ll leave it to others to extoll Ken’s many other post-playing contributions to Peninsula football. Suffice to say they were significant.
No 7’s passing has afforded many of us the time to reflect on so many happy times together playing our chosen sport in what was a pretty tough but exciting era. In doing so we may all come to realise that NUMBER 7 really was lucky for us as he played a very special part in our lives. Where would we be without him?
To Marlene and family, I can only offer my sincere sympathies. I’m sure that you will be heart-broken for some time. I hope you find some peace in the many wonderful memories that you have.
Vale Ken Knight – a true Chelsea Legend by anyone’s standards.
Col Counsell – former player
Tribute - Ray Stuart
Ken’s outstanding and distinguished football career at Chelsea was further embellished by his significant involvement with the Mt Eliza Football Club where he lead the Club as its President in 1983-84 and saw them secure the ultimate prize of a Senior Premiership in 1983.
Following his years with Chelsea and then with Mt Eliza, Ken served as Vice-President of the Mornington Peninsula Football League (MPFL) in 1985 and 1986. In 1987 The MPFL amalgamated with the Nepean Football League (NFL) to form The Mornington Peninsula Football League (MPNFL) and Ken was elected to the seven man Board of the new entity.
Furthermore, it was Ken’s appointment as a very progressive Chairman of the MPNFL that he became a household name in football on the peninsula. Ken’s passionate belief that the MPNFL would be the Victorian Country Football League’s (VCFL) top country league drove all its clubs to support his commitment in achieving much success within the VCFL’s interleague competition for each of the outstanding seven years of leadership that Ken led the MPNFL as its Chairman.
Ken’s Football achievements:
• Chelsea FC – Senior Premiership Player, Reserves Premiership
Capt/Coach, & Life Member
• Mt Eliza FC – President
• MPNFL – Chairman & Life Member
• AFL – Victoria Country - Life Member
Tribute - MPNFL
The entire MPNFL community is today mourning the loss of its esteemed Life-Member Ken Knight.
Ken was such a familiar and well-respected figure of Peninsula football – being a Director from 1987 to 2005, MPNFL Chairman from 1995 to 2002 and a member of the MPFL Committee in 1985-’86.
After a stellar playing career which netted the 1964 MPFL Reserves Best and Fairest, Ken would go on to be President of Mt Eliza’s first-ever senior premiership in 1983.
To Marlene and family, we offer our deepest sympathies as we remember a true legend of Peninsula football.