18 Jul 2022 | Fans, Latest News

Lifelong Silkmen fan Ken Sparkes received a very special birthday treat earlier today, as First Team Manager Danny Whitaker paid him a surprise visit.

Armed with an array of gifts, our Magic Man certainly lived up to his affectionate nickname and the look on Ken’s face when he walked through the door was literally priceless.

After Ken had opened his gifts, he reminisced about his time following The Silkmen and some of the standout players he has been so privileged to watch.

When asked who his favourite Silkmen players have been, Ken didn’t hesitate in naming legendary figures.

The first was former skipper Frank Beaumont – who became the first-ever recipient of the FA Trophy back in 1970.

In a glittering five-year spell, Frank literally won everything put before him and to some, he is still regarded as our greatest-ever captain.

The second player that Ken named was the gaffer himself – Danny Whitaker.

Ken spoke about how Danny used to mesmerise him on the pitch and was one of the best passers of the ball that he had ever seen.

However, Ken also spoke about a match when Danny left him a little frustrated to say the last.

In April 2011, Danny was aiming for promotion with Chesterfield and was in no mood to do his old side any favours when Gary Simpson’s side arrived in Derbyshire.

Lewis Chambers handed the visitors the lead in first half injury-time, yet parity was restored on the hour mark when Craig Davies rifled the ball home from the edge of the area.

With the game ebbing towards a stalemate, Danny fired a low drive into the corner of the net to break the Silkmen hearts.

Ken has never forgotten that day, but stated “I will forgive Danny for scoring the winner against us, especially now that he has left me speechless by visiting me on my birthday!

“I can’t thank Danny enough – I never expected this and will remember it forever.”

Danny Whitaker added:

“Ken has been an incredible fan so many years – his support has never wavered and I am genuinely in awe of him on so many levels.

“As such, I wanted to surprise Ken today, as he celebrates his 94th birthday.

“I feel humbled to be able to play a small part on Ken’s special day, and I hope that he enjoys all the celebrations.”

Happy Birthday, Ken!

More From Our Blog



Goals from Tre Pemberton and Danny Elliott handed The Silkmen their second pre-season victory last night, in what proved to be an entertaining clash against a spirited Stalybridge Celtic side. Macc started the brighter and could well have opened the scoring within the...

Preview: Stalybridge Celtic (H)

Preview: Stalybridge Celtic (H)

The Silkmen are back in Pre Season action under the lights we welcome Stalybridge Celtic to the Stadium.  A winning start to our schedule against Blackburn Rovers thanks to goals from John Rooney and a Trialist sets up tonight's fixture for another...



The Silkmen embarked on their pre-season programme with a spirited 2 - 0 victory against a Blackburn Rovers XI side on Saturday afternoon, with two second half strikes proving decisive. The opening exchanges saw Blackburn enjoy the bulk of possession and it was the...

Preview: Blackburn Rovers XI

Preview: Blackburn Rovers XI

The Silkmen welcome a Blackburn Rovers XI to the Stadium for our Pre Season outing of 2024/25.  Saturday's game sees the first of eight Pre-season fixtures and will provide a great opening test for the newly assembled squad. MATCH DETAILS Date: Saturday...



Our pre-season schedule ahead of the 2024/25 season starts this Saturday as we welcome Blackburn Rovers to the Stadium.  We can't wait to welcome supporters back on Saturday as Football returns to SK11. If you have pre-purchased your 2024/25 Season Ticket,...