Sons of Ben

A letter of support for Kenny Hanson

Editor’s Note: Former president of the Sons of Ben has suffered a traumatic head injury. Below is a letter from his friend and fellow SoB member, Jeffrey Mitchell. Kenny also has a GoFundMe page to which we ask you to consider giving. 

Kenny Hanson was my very 1st Sons of Ben friend.

We met at the inaugural match at PPL Park in Section 133 and quickly realized that our season tickets were directly in front of the Away Support. Rather than sit on our asses Kenny quickly recruited me to get people to stand like the Sons of Ben in Section 134-140 and out-sing the visiting Sounders Supporters behind us. In that moment, Kenny and I went from being strangers to friends.

We went on to organize Section 133 into the IllegetimateS, as we were all Sons of Ben but members that were outside the River End. We turned a sitting section into a standing section and gave hell to each and every supporters’ group who dared to come into our house. Over that period we went from being friends to being family.

Kenny was there as I welcomed my son Benjamin Franklin Mitchell into the world, and he and his Wife Amy became Ben’s SoB Uncle and Aunt respectively, which included helping to hold him at matches and teaching him the ropes of being a supporter. It also included being at all of his milestones like his first birthday and first Union away trip. I believe they both managed to avoid changing his diapers, but they were as close and loving as any blood relatives.

More importantly, Kenny helped to teach my growing son about helping others. Ben was at the very first Miles 4 MJ event at Kildare’s in Manayunk, raising funds and awareness about Neurofibromatosis and partnering with then Right Back Sheanon Williams.

Through twists and turns, Kenny went on to become the President of the Sons of Ben. He never left anyone behind and helped get me onto the board as the Social Media Director. The only thing that outweighed Kenny’s passion for the team was his passion for helping others. The cause was never too big or too small. It was also never just about hitting a financial goal. Kenny wanted to help people and to make their lives a little bit better than it was before he entered it.

Now Kenny needs us. He needs us all to stand up and support him in his darkest hour. Let us show his wife Amy, the Sons of Ben, MLS, and the world how much Kenny Hanson means to us by taking a page from his very own book.

Please consider helping Kenny in any way that you can. Ad Finem Fidelis.

Jeffrey Mitchell
Friend of Kenny
Sons of Ben


  1. I got to know Kenny when he was a co-coach for the Sons of Ben FC. Anyone that knows him knows that he’s the kind of guys who will literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Devastating and unfair, but I’m so hopeful that he will be able to fully recover and that we will all help him along the path the healing.

    • Matt Thornton says:

      If they ever revive the River Cup it should be renamed the Kenny Hanson Memorial. He was truly a positive force for the organization and team, as well as family, friends, and strangers.

  2. pragmatist says:

    Prayers are with Kenny and his family. It’s almost unimaginable, but from all of the commenters at PSP, let me say that we wish him a speedy and healthy recovery.

  3. I have had season tickets since day one, however, I only became a member of the SOB’s in 2015. I joined because of Kenny.

    In 2014, the Union was playing Seattle on the road. There was a watching party at the Iron Abbey and my husband and I decided to go. The first person that greeted us was Kenny. He welcomed us to the event, sat and chatted with us for awhile and made us feel like part of the group. He asked if we were SOB’s and at that time, we weren’t. In my mind, to be an SOB, you had to sit in the RiverEnd and we did not. Kenny quickly cleared that up, handed me a SOB decal and said “Join us.”

    I did.

    Prayers for him and his family.

  4. Zizouisgod says:

    Great piece. Kenny seems like a tremendous person. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, but I made a donation to hopefully help him recover.

  5. So very, very sorry to report: Word out of SC tonight is that Ken will not survive this terrible ordeal. His injuries are irreversible. Family and friends are in the process of saying final farewells.

    Prayers for the comfort of his loved ones.

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