Aldershot Town join football fans across the country in expressing sadness at the death of former Aldershot FC midfielder Andy King at the age of 58.
King, who suffered a heart attack on Wednesday morning, was an instrumental part of the Shots team which won promotion to Division Three in 1987, in defeating Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the inaugural Football League Play-Offs.
Defender Darren Anderson, King’s team-mate in that glorious season, said: “From a young player’s point of view, considering his career prior to Aldershot, he was always there for advice and never gave it the biggun. During games he was always encouraging.
“Although he was getting on, his brain was as quick as any pair of legs! I have only good memories of Andy as a team-mate, and he genuinely was a nice man.”
Signed by manager Len Walker in August 1986, King made a total of 51 appearances for The Shots, and scored 14 goals, towards the end of a playing career which saw him grace the First Division with Everton and Queen’s Park Rangers and win two caps for the England Under 21 side.
An instant fans favourite at Goodison Park after signing from hometown club Luton Town in 1976, perhaps his most celebrated moment came in October 1978, scoring a spectacular winner to secure a rare Blues victory in the Merseyside derby. Spells at QPR and West Bromwich Albion were followed by a return to Everton, but injuries began to take their toll on King.
His career soon took him to clubs in Holland and Sweden, before a return to England with Wolves and Luton. Yet it was at The Rec where he enjoyed a fine if rather brief renaissance, as a stylish and dynamic midfielder in the team which shocked Third Division Bolton and then favourites Wolves to win promotion from sixth place in the table.
King began his coaching career as Player-Manager at Waterford United in 1989, and subsequently managed Mansfield Town, Swindon Town – who he took to the Play-Offs in 2004 – and Grays Athletic. He was Assistant Manager, and briefly Caretaker Manager, at Northampton Town, and was appointed Chief Scout at MK Dons last year.
Aldershot Town sends its condolences to Andy’s wife Barbara, their family and his friends.