Friday, June 22, 2007

Nostalgia - Ken Hewkins

Bit late in the day with this one (actually been quite busy at work for a change!). This was actually the second of Gordon's posts on TFI hence the slightly confusing start for those who are reading these pieces for the first time. I've got the order sorted out now and will be saving the alluded to "world class players post" for the end! Suspect there won't be much activity on here over the weekend so check back on Monday for the next post.

Article written by Gordon Mills.

Encouraged by the response to my world class players post the other day, I have decided to make a weekly post highlighting a player from the era when Fulham were in the old first division 1959 - 1968.

I'm going to begin with Tony Macedo's understudy for much of that time, reserve team goalkeeper, Ken Hewkins. Ken was a South African and a big man. Well over 6 feet and hard as nails, he might well have been a first team regular were it not for Macedo's unpredictable brilliance. Hewkins could propel his goal kicks well into the opponent's half - no mean feat given the weight of the balls back then - and such was the power of his kick that he was the regular penalty taker for the reserves. One game in front of the usual 211 spectators at the Cottage a penalty was awarded to Fulham in the dying moments of a game with the scores level. Big Ken ran enthusiastically up the pitch with the rest of the team standing back in anticipation of his bullet like shot. He didn't check his stride as someone else had placed the ball on the spot, increased his speed and launched a thunderous cannonball of a shot goalwards. To his dismay the ball crashed against the crossbar and such was its velocity that it rebounded well over his head and the rest of the Fulham players who were gathered on the edge of the penalty area. In fact it rebounded to an opponent who was loitering in the centre circle. He turned towards the Fulham goal and set off with the ball at his feet and all 11 Fulham players in pursuit. He shot from about 35 yards, no doubt fearing the ref would blow for time before he could get any closer to the goal and the ball bobbled along into the unguarded Fulham net with Hewkins and the rest puffing in vain some yards adrift. The laughter from the now Johnny Haynes stand was amplified by members of the first team who were in attendance, enjoying every second of the spectacle. There was no time to restart the game - Fulham reserves had lost!!It was moments like these and characters like Ken Hewkins who made supporting Fulham such a joy and started the popular term "Fulhamish".

Anyone who remembers this era is welcome to reminisce with Gordon at

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