Graham Turner: Shrewsbury Town legend Ken Mulhearn will be sadly missed

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

Graham Turner has led the tributes to Shrewsbury Town legend Ken Mulhearn, who died yesterday aged 72. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Goalkeeper Mulhearn made more than 400 appearances for Town between 1971 and 1980. He won the Division Three title under player-manager Turner in 1979.

Turner, who played alongside and managed Mulhearn between 1973 and 1980, paid tribute to him as a goalkeeper and as a man.

"It's a very sad time," said two-time boss Turner.

Ken Mulhearn is pictured raising a glass behind manager Graham Turner after winning promotion with a win against Exeter in 1979

"He was a terrific character about the club. Not only as a player but as an ambassador in more recent times.

"There are a great memories of him from when I was a player and a manager.

"Ken had a tremendous character and sense of humour. He was a 'mickey-taker' but he could give it out and have it given back at him.

"He was self-deprecating, sarcastic with a sharp sense of humour. He will be fondly missed."


Mulhearn, who made 370 league appearances for the club and 432 in total, arrived from Manchester City in 1971. He was part of City's top flight championship winning side of 1968.

He won promotion from Division Four in the 1974/75 season before playing his part in Town's legendary Division Three title-winning side under Turner in 1978/79.

Former team-mate and boss Turner explained how key Mulhearn was after he took the player-manager role in November 1978.

Turner added: "Ken had a medal from the top flight with Manchester City and that was his mark as a goalkeeper.


"He was injured when I took over from Richie Barker so I asked him to help me out. He was a real positive influence in my days as player-manager.

"I remember his bravery as a goalkeeper. He used to take the mickey out of the size of his nose. He would say 'they don't pay me enough to dive at the feet of players or come for crosses'.

"But deep down he was very brave."

Mulhearn continued to live locally and, until very recently, worked alongside our commercial and hospitality teams on matchdays

The Liverpool-born custodian was one of 10 Shrewsbury Town associates to be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was a keen supporter of grandson Harry Lewis. Lewis, also a goalkeeper, rose through the Shrewsbury academy before leaving for Southampton in 2015. He is currently on a season-long loan at Dundee United.

Chairman Roland Wycherley said: "Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time.

"Ken was a true Shrewsbury Town legend on the pitch and was a very popular person around the club and town.

"He will be remembered fondly for his performances in a Town shirt and for being part of the side that helped the club to what is now the Championship.

"He continued to work around the club on matchday and will be greatly missed."

Former Town keeper Callum Burton, now at Hull, said: "Saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Mulhearn. One of the biggest gentlemen I have ever come across in my life and always had a smile on his face.

"Never failed to make you laugh and listening to his stories of his career is something I will never forget."

Funeral details will be released in due course and the family have asked that any donations should be passed on to Parkinson’s UK.

Fans and footballers have also paid tribute to Mulhearn on Twitter:

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Trainee Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.


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