The Wycombe Wanderers Ex-Players Association are sad to report the passing of Keith Blunt, at the age of 72, after a battle with cancer.Although living in Cheam, he and wife Pauline often returned to catch up with his many friends at Wycombe and usually brought Surrey compatriot Larry Pritchard and his wife Janis as well.
Having been enticed to Loakes Park by Brian Lee in 1968 – along with Sutton heroes Pritchard and Ted Powell when Keith himself was coming towards the end of a successful amateur career – the talented trio helped launch that squad’s march to four Isthmian League titles in five seasons.
Having previously represented Dulwich Hamlet as well as Sutton United, Blunt was a regular between 1969-71 making 60 appearances in defence and midfield. But Keith’s main claim to fame came later as a coach. After first becoming a regional coach for the FA in London – which meant he reluctantly had to give up playing for the Wanderers - his career blossomed.
He moved back to his old club, Sutton, as team manager, before coaching stints in Sweden. He went on to take charge of the youth team at Tottenham Hotspur in the 1980s and was Technical Director at the English National Football School at Lilleshall between 1991 and 1998 – a tenure which saw him nurture the talents of players like Michael Owen, Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, Scott Parker, Wes Brown and Danny Murphy.
After a spell at Plymouth as assistant to manager Tony Waiters, Blunt’s status as a coach earned him an exciting opportunity training in China – where he looked after the Olympic, youth and women’s squads. Illness forced him to ease off his workload, but was able to get back involved in the game acting as a visiting lecturer for the FA. Our thoughts are with wife Pauline, their two children and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday the 6th October (12.30) at St Pauls Church, Northy Avenue, Cheam, SM2 7HS.