Tributes to Hampstead Heathens founding member 'Doc' Ogden

David Ogden with his daughter Ella, now 18, on Hampstead Heath

David Ogden with his daughter Ella, now 18, on Hampstead Heath - Credit: Celine Auger

A Hampstead Heathens founding member and club stalwart has died of a heart attack aged 73.

David “Doc” Ogden, died on December 4 in France where he was living with his wife Céline Auger and their two children Felix and Ella. 

Dr David Ogden, founder of Hampstead Heathens, has died

Dr David Ogden, founder of Hampstead Heathens, has died - Credit: Celine Auger

Céline said: "He was a kind and loving father to his children.

"Hampstead Heath was a very special place for him as he remembered all the friends and matches he played there."

Former club chairman and friend, John Francis, said: “Dave personified the spirit of Hampstead Heathens: competitive, but fair play on the pitch; camaraderie off it.

"He was gentle and gracious, but with an observant eye and deliciously dry sense of humour."

David joined the Heathens after a 1975 advert appeared in Time Out urging joggers to round-off a run up Parliament Hill with a game of football.

Most Read

"Out of such Corinthian spirit Hampstead Heathens was formed," said John.

David made his debut in a 5-2 defeat to Sudbury Court in a friendly on January 10, 1976 and the club was admitted to the Nemean League a year later.

By the 1990s, the club was fielding five men’s and two women’s teams, regularly winning trophies.

David, then in his 40s, was the only founding member still playing.

Possessing speed, stamina, versatility, and longevity, he covered all positions on the right flank and captained several teams.

He helped fellow stalwart Chris Oakley form a veterans' side, taking over its leadership when Oakley retired through injury.

Born in Hammersmith, David left school with few qualifications and did not attend university.

He first worked as a Lab technician at UCL, where he was invited to undertake a PhD.

He went on to work as a scientist at Imperial College London and at The Medical Research Centre, Mill Hill, now the Francis Crick Institute.

He taught international post-graduates every year for 30 years in Plymouth, and also in Paris and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and later joined his wife, Céline, at the St. Pères Paris Institute for Neuroscience.

David Ogden with son Felix, now 14

David Ogden with son Felix, now 14 - Credit: Celine Auger

John said: "Our thoughts and sympathies go to Céline, their children Ella and Félix, and all other family members.

"We will honour Dave’s memory with a celebratory gathering linked to a footballing charity in the new year.”

Former Heathens player Dick North said: “[David was] a lovely man. Always helpful. Always looking after others. A sad loss.”