Midfield creator de Mange joined City from Leeds United in March 1988 for a £65,000 fee. He arrived with an unquestionable footballing pedigree, liking to mix it in the midfield engine room as well as start attacks with imaginative passing. He was also reputed to enjoy the high life when not training and had a firey temperament to match. Though that was not in evidence in 1988/89, Ken’s first full season at the Tigers, when he found favour with manager Eddie Gray and made regular first team appearances, sometimes off the bench – in one such sub appearance in early October De Mange scored his only goal for City in a 2-2 draw against Leicester City. In his second full season Ken’s other weakness – injuries – denied him a game for much of the time. And that was to be the tale for two further seasons as De Mange was unable to find a level of fitness that warranted anything other than occasional cameo appearances and a loan spell at Cardiff. His last game came in the League Cup against First Division QPR, and Ken looked lost in midfield as the Hoops knocked five past Terry Dolan’s hapless charges. De Mange left City in the 1992 close season.
Born and raised in the Ballygall area of Dublin, De Mange was a highly promising footballer from a young age and joined Irish League side Home Farm at 17. He was awarded the accolade of Irish PFA Young Player of the Year in 1983, which attracted the attention of Liverpool who signed the teenage De Mange in August 1983 alongside his Home Farm team-mate Brian Mooney. De Mange sent four years at Anfield but never made a first team appearance for the Reds, though he was picked for senior international recognition in May 1987, weeks before a move to Leeds United. De Mange played in 20 matches for Leeds during 1987/88 before being lured eastwards to Hull as the season drew to a close.
On leaving Hull City in the 1991 close season De Mange returned to Ireland where he carved out a second career in the Irish Leagues either side of the border, serving six clubs over four seasons but still never really making his mark on the game. In 1995 at Dundalk De Mange lifted the League of Ireland title, his only divisional trophy. It was clear that Ken had talent in abundance, attracting the Liverpool scouts proved that, but he could rarely put that promise into action. When his football career ended De Mange returned to England and worked for several years at Heathrow Airport. In 2005 he returned to Ireland and worked in a hospital in Kilkenny.
De Mange was capped at under-21 level while at Liverpool and in May 1987 he was selected by manager Jack Charlton to make his senior debut against Brazil. He made a second international appearance 17 months later, while on City’s books, in an October 1988 win over Tunisia. He was also selected for an Ireland under-23 side in 1990 to play against England B.
Date/Place of Birth: 3 September 1964, Dublin
Hull City First Game: 5 March 1988, Barnsley H (Division Two), 23 years, 184 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 October 1991, Queens Park Rangers A (League Cup Second Round 2nd Leg), 27 years, 36 days old
Home Farm (1981-1983), Liverpool (1983-1987), Scunthorpe United (1986, loan), Hull City (1987-1992), Cardiff City (1990-1991, loan), Limerick (1992-1993), Ards (1993), Bohemians (1993-1994), Dundalk (1994-1995), Crusaders (1995), Home Farm (1995-1996)
Hull City Record
Career: 76 apps, 1 goalsKen de Mange
|1988/89||19 (13)||1||3 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|1989/90||16 (5)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||0 (1)||0|