Ken Nottage 1959-2023 - Tributes paid to England international and Newcastle great

Tributes have been paid to Ken Nottage after the British basketball great passed away late last week, aged 64. 

Nottage, born in 1959, represented England and played for Solent in the NBL and Sunderland (in the NBL and BBL), before the North East franchise moved to Newcastle, where Ken's involvement on and off the court was hugely significant. 

Nottage also had successful spell as managing director of Gloucester Rugby Club. 


A tribute from Newcastle Eagles read: “Along with his former colleagues at Gloucester, the thoughts of everyone at the Eagles are with the Nottage family at this deeply sad and difficult time.  

“Ken had been involved with the club for over four decades after being recruited to the then-Sunderland franchise in 1981. He spent 14 of his 19 seasons as a professional basketball player based in the North East, before taking over the club with managing director Paul Blake in 1999.  

“The popular player turned club director after holding pivotal roles off the court, firstly as chief executive of Newcastle United Sporting Club and then in the subsequent takeover of Newcastle Eagles, which led to the development of the Eagles organisation we know today, becoming the most successful British basketball team of all-time.” 

Former teammate Ken Kocher said on the Basketball England English Basketball History Facebook page: “During the three years that I played basketball in the British Basketball League, I was fortunate enough to have Ken Nottage as a teammate for the Sunderland Basketball Club and we were also teammates on the 1985 England team that travelled to the Far East and the 1983 Great Britain team that played in the World Student Games in Edmonton, Canada. 

“The moment he stepped on the court he played with a ferocious intensity that was welcomed by any teammate and it made him difficult to play against. Off the court he was full of life and was an extremely funny person.” 

Basketball England board member Sadie Mason MBE said: “A sound point guard back in the day and a great watch. A true gent of the game and role model. RIP Ken Nottage.” 

Jimmy ‘Jumpshot’ Smith added: "Fundamentally sound and a winner at every level of the game.” 

The thoughts of all at Basketball England are with Ken’s family, friends and colleagues. 

Composite image: Newcastle Eagles