20th April 2003

Death of Guernsey-born footballer Len Duquemin

Len Duquemin was born in Cobo on 17 July 1924 and became a professional footballer. He played for various mainland teams, including Chelmsford City, Colchester United, Hastings United and, most famously of all, Tottenham Hotspur. He made 274 league appearances for the London club during which he scored a total of 114 goals.

Duquemin played centre-forward and was nicknamed variously as The Duke (a shortening of his surname) or Reliable Len. His obituary on the Tottenham Hotspur website described him as “one of the best players never to have been selected for international duty” despite him having played with the team during its time in both the first and second divisions.

A local player first

Duquemin got his start in football when he was playing for Vauxbelet, and was working as a gardener for a Guernsey monastery. He was spotted – and recommended to Spurs – by a local fan, Ted Zebelia, and was asked to try out for Tottenham immediately after the Second World War.

By September 1946, he was no longer a gardener, but playing for the team professionally, and he finished his first year as a pro as the club’s top scorer, with 15 goals to his name.

Duquemin even played as part of the Spurs team when the club travelled to Guernsey, and faced off against the Guernsey Island XI. The local side almost certainly included a number of players that Duquemin would have known from his time on the island, and alongside whom he would have played before he headed to London.

After retiring from football, Len Duquemin ran a newsagent and a pub. He died in Buckhurst Hill hospital, in east London, on 20 April 2003 after suffering a short illness.


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Other events that occured in April

Guernsey’s first female murderer goes on trial 1st
A French fisherman is arrested and escorted to St Peter Port 2nd
Guernsey’s new population law comes into force 3rd
Guernsey’s oldest resident dies, aged 110 4th
An occupation-era minefield is discovered at L’Ancresse 5th
Birth of Stone de Croze, the original Guernseyman 6th
The first ever Guernsey stamp is issued 7th
Antiquarian William Collings Lukis was born 8th
Guernsey hosts its first Parkrun at Pembroke 9th
Alderney residents lined the coast to watch Titanic pass 10th
Norfolk pupils spend a week in Guernsey 11th
A plane hit a car while landing at Guernsey Airport 12th
Battery Mirus was test fired for the first time 13th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry fights at Ypres 14th
Guernsey Mormon Sampson Avard dies in Illinois 15th
Lieutenant Governor, Lord Ruthven, died in Bath 16th
Death of the Vicar General of the Channel Islands 17th
TV’s Jeeves is rushed to hospital on Guernsey 18th
Guernsey Airport’s new terminal opened for business 19th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie film opened 20th
Death of Guernsey-born footballer Len Duquemin
Three Jewish women are deported from Guernsey 21st
Guernsey bigamist got married for the second time 22nd
Aurigny pilot Ray Bowyer spots a UFO near Alderney 23rd
The States of Guernsey registers the gov.gg domain 24th
Guernsey-set film The Sea Devils hits cinemas 25th
Hydrofoil Condor 1 completed its final sea trials 26th
The first Muratti football match takes place 27th
Guernsey passengers stage a ferry sit-in 28th
Guernsey abolishes the death penalty for murder 29th
Finishing touches put to new hospital 30th
Murder suspects steal visitor’s boat from St Peter Port