Kenneth Crawford was born on the 21st
February 1949 to Elizabeth and Andrew Crawford. Kenneth
would grow up as one of five children, brother to
Andrew, Alistair, David and Sheila. The family initially
lived in Edentown and then Ladybank in Fife, before, in
1953, Kenneth’s father was promoted in his job as
Automobile Association Sergeant to Inspector requiring
the family to relocate to Maybole.
It was in Maybole that Kenneth’s happiest childhood
memories were to be had. He loved the town and spoke
fondly of playing for hours with brothers, sister and
friends. Kenneth would regularly recount to his
children in later years stories from this time in his
life and the adventures he shared with his brothers and
sister and particularly the marvellous Christmas’ the
family shared. In later life Kenneth took inspiration
from those early Christmas’ and made sure that his own
children experienced festive celebrations in the same
manner he enjoyed as a child.
Even at a young age Kenneth demonstrated generosity that
would become a feature of his life. On one occasion
Kenneth’s Uncle John and Auntie Lizzie visited them.
Kenneth, knowing that his Uncle and Auntie sent them
money at Christmas time realised the potential for a
financial windfall during their visit and he and his
younger brother David conspired to be on their best
behaviour during their stay. Their plan was successful
and at the end of their visit they paid up, 2 shillings
and sixpence each, 5 shillings between them.
As soon as they had left Kenneth and David were off up
to the sweet shop on the green in Maybole. If you had a
few pennies in Maybole you went down the high street,
but if you were flush you went to the sweet shop on the
green. On arrival they did what children do when they’ve
got a few pennies in their pocket, they didn’t go
straight in, but looked in the window first. They could
afford everything. After a minute or two Kenneth said
‘we’ll buy Mum a present’. David said ‘ok’, then Kenneth
said ‘We’ll buy her that box of clarinco mint creams’.
David said, WHAT! WHOA! ‘do you mean that big box, the
centrepiece of their well constructed display?’, ‘Aye’,
replied Kenneth ‘give me your money’. They went in and
Kenneth asked the shopkeeper ‘How much is that box of
clarinco mint creams?’ The shopkeeper replied ‘5
shillings’. David said ‘aw no’ and Kenneth said ‘great,
we’ll have it’. Then the pair marched home and Kenneth
presented his Mum with her present. She was delighted
and it was hard to tell which of the two was happier or
more proud. That was typical of Kenneth.
Kenneth attended Carrick Academy in
Maybole but if truth were told school held little
interest for him and served as a distraction from his
main interest, which was playing football. He left
school in 1964 aged 15. However, years later he would
His first job was at Norman Ranson’s, an auto
electrician’s garage in Prestwick, where he worked as a
trainee electrician. On his first day he suffered the
same fate as many apprentices and was sent to nearby
garages on fools errands for items such as, a reversible
horn, a left-handed wrench and tubes of green
compulsion. Time and time again he returned empty
handed, fearing the sack he discussed his inability to
source these items with his father. Who explained that
he had been the victim of a prank. Kenneth however
continued to gladly accept his “assignments” in the
following days, taking the time to wander around
Prestwick rather than spend time in the garage storeroom
where the majority of his work kept him.
Kenneth enjoyed this job immensely and would regularly
entertain his family, particularly his mother, with his
stories of the goings on at the garage. One such story
that his mother would ask him to recount again and again
was the time when the manager of the garage asked the
mechanics to decorate the garage themselves to save
money. One of the mechanics (Davie) was painting the
very high interior garage walls. He was working from the
top of a tall extension ladder. Suddenly, Kenneth heard
a crash and ran out of the storeroom to see what had
happened. Davie was on the ground groaning but was
uninjured. Kenneth couldn’t help but laugh at the sight
of Davie’s two handprints all down the wall from the top
to the bottom. Davie having done his best to slow his
fall by clinging on the wet paint.
In 1967, a further promotion for Kenneth’s father saw
the family relocate to Birmingham. It was during his
time in Birmingham that Kenneth began to put his
intelligence to work. From 1971 to 1990 Kenneth was
employed as Electrical Engineer at Lloyds Bank and
attended night school undertaking several courses and
eventually qualifying as an electrician.
They say, as you grow older you grow wiser. Kenneth
became wise. Very wise. He took that to extremes. He’d
say something and people would think how does he know
that? He started to dispense advice. And it would be
He became well informed and started writing really well
and would write stories. He was eloquent and witty. And
he could write poetry. There’s probably a few school
pals saying ‘poetry? Kenny Crawford? Oh yes, and it was
good stuff. He became a guru! He changed.
In 1972 and 1974, Kenneth had two children Kenneth and
Alan. In 1981, Kenneth met Vivien and so began a
romance that was to last 32 years. They were devoted to
each other and married later that year. Kenneth and
Vivien complimented each other perfectly. When Vivien
first met Kenneth she thought he needed to be looked
after and this is what she did for the rest of his life.
It might seem hard to believe but despite all of
Kenneth’s talents he did need looking after. Vivien
took care of Kenneth and kept him focused on what was
important in life. In fact they took care of each
other. They had three children, James, Caroline and
By his own example Kenneth instilled
in all his children values that they have gone on to
live their own lives by; honesty, integrity, to always
work hard and to look after your family.
In 1990, Kenneth, Vivien, James, Caroline and Laura
moved to Scotland eventually settling in Tarbolton where
Kenneth (jnr) and Alan visited often. The family are
extremely close and enjoyed regular holidays touring the
North of Scotland. It was during these holidays that
Kenneth’s children hold the fondest and funniest
memories of their Dad.
The family home was a happy place, full of laughter and
joy. Kenneth often poked fun at his family. When Vivien
announced to him that she had seen a deer in the garden,
Kenneth was sceptical to say the least and days of
ridicule followed. “Vivien come quick there’s a Gorilla
in the garden”. That was Kenneth and his family loved
him for it.
Kenneth was a ferocious protector of his children and as
they grew older was a constant source of strength and
advice on all manner of life’s challenges. They had
only to give the slightest hint of a problem regardless
or how big or small he was always on hand to help.
Throughout the 1990s, Kenneth pursued a successful
career in Buildings Management. As a child if Kenneth
had been asked what his dream job would be as an adult
he would have replied 'playing for Rangers'. He didn't
manage this, though he was a talented footballer, but in
1998 was appointed as Stadium Manager at Ibrox, a
position he filled with tremendous pride and passion. He
poured his heart and sole into the job. The fact that
he accomplished this against a background of no formal
qualifications in his school years is a testament to the
hard work and dedication he put in to gain the
professional qualifications that allowed him to 'live
the dream' in working for Rangers. It was while working
at Rangers that Kenneth was asked to return to Carrick
Academy to speak to the pupils there about his
achievements and the importance of studying hard.
Kenneth was immensely proud to be asked to do this.
After leaving Rangers in 2003 he moved into
semi-retirement, though he continued to work
periodically in building management, before beginning
his full retirement in 2008. Kenneth spent his
retirement years enjoying the company of his
grandchildren (Rebecca and John), painting, walking and
complaining to the BBC weather service about their
inaccurate Scottish weather forecasts.
In his last days when speaking of his life he said that
“with great effort you can overcome ignorance”.
Kenneth’s professional career is testament to that
sentiment. He set a wonderful example to his children
and grandchildren that they all endeavour to follow.
Kenneth had a sharp sense of humour he also had the
rarer gift of being able to laugh at himself and the
mistakes he made. One of his children’s favourite
examples of this was when his son Kenneth (Jnr) was
studying in Strasbourg. Contacting Kenneth (Jnr)
involved first speaking to a French operator at the
accommodation where he was staying and asking for
Kenneth (Jnr) to come to the phone. Not being a fluent
French speaker Kenneth (Snr) realised that there was
likely to be a language barrier.
Kenneth (Snr) was a supremely
confident person and was unfazed by this. His solution
was to write out in English what he wanted to say in
order to speak with Kenneth (Jnr). He then bought an
English/French dictionary and swapped all of the English
words for the French equivalent. Thus providing what he
thought was a perfect translation.
After weeks of rehearsing he made the
call but was dismayed when the operator revealed that he
spoke English. Kenneth (Snr) replied “no, no, no, I
don’t think so, I’ve been rehearsing this for weeks, you
just listen to this”. The butchering of the French
language that followed left both the operator and
Kenneth (Snr) in fits of laughter, both were unable to
speak for several minutes. It would be one of many such
stories that would cause his children to howl with
laughter when he recounted it.
This sense of humour never left him, even when he was
diagnosed with lung cancer just a few weeks ago. When in
Hospital he continued to shield his family from his pain
by making jokes and responding inappropriately to the
questions of Hospital staff. This alone was a
remarkable feat of courage and typical of Kenneth.
Vivien nursed Kenneth through his illness remaining by
his side until the very last moment of his life. In his
final two weeks Vivien refused to leave his bedside and
slept on a mattress on the floor of his hospital room.
Her strength of character these past weeks and the
extent of her undying devotion to Kenneth have astounded
the family. The bond they share is of such strength that
it will never be broken, even by death.
Shortly before he died Kenneth passed a message to his
brother David that he wanted everyone here to know
today. This message was that he loved and was proud of
Vivien, Kenneth, Alan, James, Caroline and Laura. But I
suspect you already knew that. Who wouldn’t be proud of
these children? Tall, good-looking, well-mannered, well
spoken, strong backbone, making their own way in life.
Kenneth wanted you all to know, that if that was to be
his legacy, he died a proud and happy man.
So, which Kenneth Crawford are you thinking about?
The young footballer, fit and eager, who could run
circles round us all?
The pal you used to sit and laughing and joking with
till your sides were sore?
The hard working colleague you could trust and rely on?
The storyteller, who remembered more about your
childhood that you could?
Or are you thinking a hundred and one different things
about the man who was such a big part of your life?
You might be sitting there, a bit angry. Well, don’t be,
he doesn’t want that. You might be sitting there with a
tinge of regret, wishing you had said or not said
something, or something you could have done or not done.
Well don’t worry. If Kenneth knew you, he loved you! He
wanted the best for everyone here. He wanted the best
for everyone. Well, with the exception of the BBC
weather service. But, apart from them, he wanted the
best for everybody.
Kenneth’s life was happy one and his happiest moments
were those he spent with his family. Perhaps the most
poignant example of this was during his final days in
Ayr Hospital. When lying in his hospital bed Vivien,
sons Kenneth, Alan, James and daughters, Caroline and
Laura sat around him reminiscing of the family holidays,
Christmas’ and many other happy times they had shared
together. Although very ill, as he was listening to
these stories, he lay with a smile on his face and
whispered the words “I’m drowning in happiness”. In the
days, months and years ahead we should remember that
this was how Kenneth left this world, not in sadness,
nor pain or anger but with his loving family around him
and thinking of a lifetime of happy memories. So, if
you’re struggling with your thoughts today, there’s
something for you to think about and we’ll use that to
help us go on. Because, go on we must, we owe that to
These are the loving and proud
memories of his wife Vivien, sons, Kenneth, Alan, James,
daughters Caroline and Laura, his beloved grandchildren
John and Rebecca, and his brothers and sister; Andrew,
Alistair, David and Sheila. They all will ensure that
Kenneth will be remembered for what he was; a devoted
and loving husband, the best of father’s, a great
brother and a doting grandfather.
He will never be forgotten.