Southampton Football Club is saddened to learn of the loss of former player Ken Armstrong, who passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning at the age of 63.
Signed by the club in 1983, the centre-half was described as “an outstanding prospect” by then manager Lawrie McMenemy, who had been recommended Armstrong by Jim Clunie, a coach at Saints when they won the FA Cup in 1976.
At the time, Clunie was working as manager at Kilmarnock, where Armstrong had played as a part-timer for the previous six years.
With a reported fee of £25,000 – although Kilmarnock claimed it to be nearer £60,000 – it proved a shrewd acquisition, as Armstrong immediately struck up a strong pairing with Mark Wright at the heart of defence, conceding only two goals in the opening eight matches of the 1983/84 season.
A subsequent injury to Wright encouraged McMenemy’s decision to utilise the sweeper system upon his return, with Reuben Agboola given the role, which meant no place for Armstrong and he went on loan to Notts County.
After his return, he featured again as Saints ended up second in the old First Division, three points behind Liverpool, but that proved to be his only season with the club as he was sold to Birmingham after a total of 28 appearances.
He then signed for Walsall in February 1986, but a broken ankle finished his playing career before he could kick a ball for the Saddlers, and at 27 he made the decision to retire from football.
Armstrong went on to work in various roles in the NHS, including as director of operations at NHS Tayside, in Scotland.
The club would like to extend its condolences to all of Ken Armstrong’s loved ones.