A BROMSGROVE-born footballer who had a short but fascinating career has died at the age of 77.

Ken Barrett, who lived in Bromsgrove for most of his life before living in Droitwich in his later years, died on Sunday, June 7.

Born in Bromsgrove in May 1938, Ken became a fan of Aston Villa when aged 10-years-old he attended a match at the club that attracted a crowd of 70,000.

After being spotted by ex-Villan Frank Shell at the age of 15, he went on to play for the club.

Following some impressive performances for the club's junior sides, he was handed a professional contract during Eric Houghton’s reign.

He had the distinction of scoring twice on his debut for the Villa Park outfit in October 1958, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United, following a full day shift at the Longbridge plant where he worked.

On the day of his fifth and what turned out to be his final appearance, against Luton Town, he was woken up by a policeman outside his Bromsgrove home knocking on the door saying he needed to get to Villa Park as he was playing, so he "should get a move on".

His Villa career was brought to an early end after Eric was sacked, and he was not kept on.

He moved on to Lincoln City between 1959 and 1963, but his professional career was brief as National Service took him away with the Army.

During his time in the Army, he was initially based at Blandford Forum and later Arborfield but then became a physical training instructor which led to a move to Aldershot training runners.

Ken finished his career at Stourbridge where he made more than 200 appearances, scoring 74 goals.

His wife Pat said as well as being a former Villa player, many Bromsgrove residents will remember Ken as he ran a bookmakers called Barrett and Husband in Aston Fields.

Ken was also a keen supporter of the Aston Villa Former Players Association charity events, including its golf days.

His funeral service is being held this Tuesday, June 23 at Worcester Crematorium, from 3.15pm, followed by a gathering at Gaudet Luce Golf Club, in Middle Lane, from 4.10pm.

The family ask for any donations in his memory to be made out to St Richard's Hospice.