A few weeks ago we said our goodbyes to Roger Hunt, a reminder that as new heroes are created, the past legends will eventually leave us.
The sad news this week saw former Liverpool player, Ray Kennedy, pass away. At just 70 years of age, the former reds midfielder leaves behind a glittering career in football. Having joined from Arsenal in 1974, Kennedy went on to play 275 games for Liverpool, scoring 51 goals. Ray went onto win an amazing five English League titles, before his departure to Swansea in 1982. A League Cup win in 1981 completed his domestic trophy haul (as a red), but much more success was gained at other clubs.
Before signing for Liverpool, Ray Kennedy won the League and FA Cup double with Arsenal. His career went supersonic with Liverpool mind, and the European success garnered was emphatic. Three European Cup wins between 1977 and 1981, was added to by a UEFA Super Cup win in 1977.
Having started as a strong centre forward (at Arsenal), he transitioned into a powerful left sided midfielder, under Liverpool manager Bob Paisley. His ability to adapt saw him become an integral part of that reds side, a period in which Liverpool were undoubtedly the worlds best team.
Strangely, Kennedy only played 17 games for England, scoring 3 goals. He eventually called time on his Three Lions’ career, instead choosing to concentrate on the final years as a reds player. Much like so many former reds, his ability was never fully appreciated on the international scene, and was noted as stating his discontent. His glorious club career remains something most footballers can only dream of, and he will go down alongside other reds Legends, that were part of a glorious era.
After leaving Liverpool for Swansea in 1982, Kennedy would then have brief stints with Hartlepool United, Pezoporikos and Ashington, before calling time on his playing career. In 1984, Kennedy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He chose to dedicate much of his time (in retirement), to making the awareness of this disease more prominent. He did this alongside his childhood idol (and fellow sporting great), Muhammad Ali.
Despite any off field problems, it’s important to remember the best days of Ray Kennedy, and his status as a Liverpool Legend is indeed secure. Kennedy ended his career having played a total of 498 club games, with an exceptional 109 goals scored.
Time catches up to all of us, and for any younger Liverpool fans reading this, I would implore them to ask their fathers and grandfathers about this tremendous footballer, from the past. Raymond Kennedy will hopefully be remembered fondly at the forthcoming Merseyside Derby, with homage paid to his sensational career as a red.