AFC Telford United mourn death of legendary goalkeeper Kevin Charlton

Legendary former Telford United goalkeeper Kevin Charlton has died aged 66 after a battle with poor health.

Charlton made 526 appearances for Telford between 1980 and 1992, where he was the man between the sticks in three FA Trophy finals at Wembley in an era when the club upset league opposition almost on a yearly basis.

The former goalkeeper was signed from Bangor City by England legend Gordon Banks. He was inducted into the hall of fame at new club AFC Telford United in 2008. Charlton had suffered with diabetes throughout his career.

He died peacefully in hospital on Wednesday.

Charlton, who was born in Tamworth but lived in Anglesey, was in goal when Stan Storton’s side won the FA Trophy for the second time in their history, beating Northwich Victoria 2-1 in 1983.

He was a mainstay of Storton’s revered side, who made the FA Cup fourth round in 1984 and famously reached the competition’s fifth round in 1985, where 11,000 supporters travelled to watch Telford play at top flight champions-elect Everton.

More memorable runs in knockout competition came at the end of the decade. With Charlton in goal Telford lost a 1988 FA Trophy final replay against Enfield before going one better the following year, seeing off Macclesfield Town 1-0 in 1989.

Charlton, a hugely agile goalkeeper who stood at just 5ft 9ins, left for Bangor in 1990 but returned for a final emergency appearance in 1992.

The immensely popular goalkeeper was a mainstay of the side that competed in the Alliance Premier League from 1979, of which Telford were founder members.

Charlton helped Storton’s side to a best third-placed finish in 1982. Telford then joined the Conference in 1986, where he was part of side that finished in fifth.

He kept 150 clean sheets in his 526 games for the club. Charlton was officially recognised as a club legend in 2008, alongside the late Jack Bentley.

He was joined in that group by Alan Harris, Antone Joseph, Sean Parrish and Frank Childs two years later.

Charlton won a Third Division title winners' medal with Hereford United in 1976.

Current Bucks goalkeeper coach Darren Acton was a mentor to the next generation of Telford goalkeepers towards the end of his career.

“I remember Kevin really well; he was good to be around; he would always make time for you and always gave me good advice, and I’m very sad to hear this news,” Acton told the club’s website.

“He always used to need to have a Mars bar before a game (because of his diabetes) and we used to have to go and fetch him one from the tuckshop.

“He helped me in training when we spent time with the first team. He was the character of the team; he’d always have a lot of banter and everyone looked up to him, a fantastic guy.”

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