January 28, 2024

STATEMENT | Ken Wright

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In July, fan favourite Jamie Vermiglio returned to Victory Park and assumed the role of Chairman at Chorley Football Club. This officially brought an end to Ken Wright’s reign as the figurehead of The Magpies, a position he has held since 2003. His service to the Club dates back much further than that, roughly 2 decades earlier.

Ken first appeared on the touchline at Victory Park in the 1980s when he became manager during the winter of 1984. He was the mastermind behind some of the Club’s most historic feats including our record-breaking FA Cup fun in 1986 beating Wolves (twice post-war FA Cup winners) along the way in a second replay. A convincing 3-0 victory at Burnden Park put The Magpies on the football map.

He remained in the dugout until 1990, achieving Chorley’s highest ever league position when we topped the GM Vauxhall Conference in early 1988, the Magpies’ first full season in the division.

Ken took a brief absence from Victory Park but returned as manager in 1999 and stood down from that position in 2002 to become a director at the club before eventually taking over the reins of Chairman during the close season of 2003.

During his time as Chair, Ken steered the Magpies through some rough times including relegations, financial irregularities and the brink of collapse but he was always determined to make it out the other side.

In 2010 he secured the massive coup of acquiring the services of ex-Blackburn Rovers star Garry Flitcroft to take over the managerial reigns. Let’s just say the rest is history.

Ken Wright lifting the Vanarama National League North Play Off trophy with Andy Teague.
Pic Credit: Stefan Willoughby

It was quite fitting that some 35 years on from the original FA Cup fixture against Wolves, Ken was Chairman of the club when the Magpies were drawn at home to face the West Midlands outfit again on another memorable FA Cup run when the Magpies reached the fourth round in 2021.

Former Magpies Trust Chairman, Ryan Modlin has given his personal input on how Ken helped shape the football club.

"My childhood memories are of Ken Wright the manager, being at the helm of during the high points of the '80s. However, I was privileged to be invited to board meetings as the newly formed Supporters Trust Club Liaison Officer in 2004. That opportunity gave a unique insight, not only into the complexities of running a small non league club with sub 250 attendances, but into the deeply held commitment and devotion Ken has for the club. Some 12 years later, I was back in the boardroom as the Trust Chair to see Ken's commitment as strong as ever but managing problems of a much grander scale."

Ryan further added "It's easy to throw criticism from the comfort of the terraces, but the fact is voluntarily running a non league football club can only be done well by somebody with a personal connection and, dare I say, love for the football club. I've been fortunate enough to see this close up and the personal contributions Ken has made. Chorley Football Club is almost 140 years old and Ken has played a highly significant role for a large portion of that. The phrase "you don't know what you've got until it's gone springs to mind"."

We would like to end this by simply saying thank you to Ken for his service to the black and white stripes.

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