When Ken Houghton signed for Hull City in January 1965 alongside Ian Butler, it was seen as the culmination of Cliff Britton’s managerial masterplan to assemble a forward line that would equip the Tigers to challenge the higher reaches of Division Three and, it was hoped, Division Two as well. Matched with the raw power of Chilton, the prowess of Wagstaff and the creativity of Henderson and Butler, Houghton was the mastermind whose powerful shot and eye for a pass drew the plan together. His first full season in 1965/66 was amongst the most successful half dozen in the Tigers history, as City swept most teams aside with a storm of attacking threat and scored over 100 league goals – 22 of which were contributed by Houghton. Restored to the second tier, the Tigers continued to excel but Houghton had spells out of the first team due to injury. His second great season in black and amber came in 1969/70 as he contributed 16 goals to a season that saw Cliff Britton’s departure midway through. Houghton left the Tigers in the 1973 close season with City legend status firmly in his grasp.
Born in Rotherham, Houghton was on Sheffield United’s books as a youngster but opted for a coal mining career at Silverwood Colliery when no professional football contract was forthcoming. Only when Houghton was approaching his 21st birthday did he sign a professional contract with Rotherham United, scoring a goal every three games over a four and a half year period. In 1961 Ken played in the inaugural League Cup Final for the Millers.
Houghton joined Scunthorpe United for the 1973/74 season but that was his final contribution in League football. In 1974 he joined Northern League side Scarborough as player-coach and appeared at Wembley in the FA Trophy final in 1975. Usurped at Seamer Road in the 1975 close season by future City manager Colin Appleton, Houghton moved to Bridlington Town before returning to Boothferry Park as youth coach in 1976. By April 1978 Ken was elevated to caretaker and then permanent first team manager of a side recently relegated back to the third tier for the first time since his arrival at the club 13 years earlier. Houghton piloted City to a top half finish in 1978/79, fuelled by the goals of Keith Edwards, but was relieved of his duties in December 1979 after an 11 match winless streak. After football, Houghton was a manager at a freight company on the south bank of the Humber until retirement.
Date/Place of Birth: 18 October 1939, Rotherham
Hull City First Game: 9 January 1965, Bournemouth A (Division Three), 25 years, 83 days old
Hull City Final Game: 23 April 1973, Huddersfield Town H (Division Two), 33 years, 187 days old
Silverwood Colliery, Rotherham United (1960-1965), Hull City (1965-1973), Scunthorpe United (1973-1974), Scarborough (1974-1975), Bridlington Town (1975-1976)
Hull City Record
Career: 304 apps, 91 goalsKen Houghton
|1965/66||45 (0)||22||7 (0)||3||2 (0)||2||-||-||-||-|
|1966/67||20 (0)||9||3 (0)||2||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1967/68||30 (1)||7||3 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1968/69||22 (1)||6||1 (0)||0||1 (1)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1969/70||41 (0)||16||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1970/71||34 (3)||7||3 (1)||2||1 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1971/72||19 (1)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1972/73||27 (5)||7||4 (0)||2||1 (1)||0||-||-||3 (0)||1|