HIGHLY respected president of the Isle of Wight Divisional Football Association (IWDFA) and a leading member of Wootton Bridge Parish for many years, Ken Morris, has died.

Ken, who served on both bodies for many years, passed away at the Woodside nursing home in Wootton on Saturday.

A devout Pompey fan, Ken — a dad of three and grandfather of four — was born and grew up in Wootton and never left the village.

Ken, who received a certificate of commendation for his service to Island football in 2017, has two domestic trophies named after him — the Ken Morris Isle of Wight Junior A and B cups.

Andrew Justice, honorary cup secretary of the IWDFA, put a statement out to association members yesterday morning (Sunday).

It read: "With a heavy heart I wish to let you know the sad news our president, Ken Morris, died last night after a long illness.

"Whilst he has not been able to attend meetings in the recent past, he was always interested to hear what was going on in our world of football. 

"Ken was not only a great servant to Island football, he was, more importantly, a friend and gentleman."

Ken, 80,  of High Street, Wootton, was a retired metal machinist at Saunders-Roe, BHC and Westlands, and is also Wootton Bridge Parish Council's longest serving member.

A councillor in the villlage since the council's inception in 1983, Ken served as its chairman for over a decade.

He also ran local football in Wootton for decades and, as IWDFA president, attended Island football matches right up until the end of last season, despite being wheelchair-bound and in poor health.

Fellow Wootton councillor and friend, Barry Abraham, said he was very shocked by the news of Ken's death.

"I've known Ken for many years — even before he was a councillor," said Barry.

"His whole life revolved around the village. Ken always liked a laugh and a joke and he was very highly regarded in Wootton.

"Ken was Wootton through and through and will be greatly missed."

Ken's daughter, Claire, said she had been inundated with tributes.

Lifelong friend, Pete Mundell, a fellow Wootton parish councillor, said: "We'd been friends for 70-plus years. He's the kind of person who'd do anything for anybody.

"We would meet up regularly each Friday to buy the County Press and get a coffee and a doughnut and put the world to rights.

"I last spoke to Ken about three weeks ago. The last thing he said to me was 'when's the council elections? I'll put my name down again.'

"It's a very sad loss."