Tributes from St Albans for Everton football legend Andy King

St Albans District U15s 1969-70, Andy King is third from the left, front row. (Photo courtesy: '100

St Albans District U15s 1969-70, Andy King is third from the left, front row. (Photo courtesy: '100 Years: A History of Schools' Football in St Albans' - Credit: Photo courtesy: '100 Years: A History of Schools' Football in St Albans

St Albans City Football Club has led local tributes following the sudden death of former Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Luton midfielder Andy King.

Lauded in The Guardian as one of Everton’s “most popular and charismatic players of the 1970s”, the Luton-born footballer who formerly lived in Markyate died of a heart attack at the age of 58 last Wednesday (27).

At the time of his death, Andy was chief scout for Milton Keynes Dons.

Historian for the Saints, David Tavener, said: “Along with the rest of the country, it came as a great shock to the club to learn of the death of Andy King.

“Andy, an England U21 international, built his fame around successful spells with Luton Town and Everton.

“His name is forever etched into Everton folklore courtesy of a stunning half-volley strike from 20 yards that secured victory in the Merseyside derby in 1978.”

David went on: “What many present day City supporters may be unaware of is that Andy made one appearance for St Albans City during the 1988-89 season, right at the tail-end of his playing career.

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“His first run out for his local club – he was living in Markyate at the time – came on November 22 1988 as City went down 3-1 to a Tottenham Hotspur XI friendly at Clarence Park.

“We send our condolences to Andy’s wife Barbara and their family at this very sad time.”

Among local fans paying tribute to the football legend was Richard Newey who recalled, while growing up in Redbourn, that villagers often discussed Andy as a big star playing for Everton - “he was a local lad made good”.

Richard added: “Any football fan of a certain age will know of Andy. I saw him playing for Everton.”

The Dons have opened two books of condolence after the sudden passing of their chief scout.

In a statement the club described Andy as a “much-loved football figure”.

Everton Football Club said that it was “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former midfielder.

“Andy, who scored 67 goals in 248 appearances over two spells at Goodison Park, was a crowd favourite and will forever be remembered for netting a spectacular Merseyside derby winner in October 1978.

“The thoughts of everyone at Everton are with Andy’s family and many friends at this sad time.”

His funeral is being held tomorrow (Thursday) in Liverpool.