Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arsenal Double winner Ray Kennedy dies age 70

Ray Kennedy, the man whose header won Arsenal the league title at White Hart Lane in 1971, has passed away aged 70.

The striker, who went on to enjoy a trophy-laden stint at Liverpool between 1974-1982, had suffered from Parkinson’s in the latter stages of his career and throughout the rest of his life.

Kennedy made his Gunners’ debut as an 18-year-old and didn’t take long to leave an indelible mark on the club’s history, scoring the goal that reduced the deficit against Anderlecht in the first leg of the 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final. While Arsenal lost 3-1 in Belgium that night, a 3-0 win at Highbury secured the club’s first European honour and proved to be a springboard for the squad’s ‘Double’ success the following season.

Kennedy scored 26 goals in all competitions as the Gunners secured a first league title in 18 years and appeared in every game of the FA Cup run that ended with a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Wembley just fives days after his iconic goal at Sp*rs.

In total, he scored 71 goals in 212 appearances for Arsenal before joining Liverpool for a club-record £200,000 on the day Bill Shankley left Anfield. Under Bob Paisley, he won five league titles, three European Cups, the UEFA Cup and the League Cup.

Ray also played 17 times for England before winding down his career at Swansea, Hartlepool and Cypriot side Pezoporikos. By the time he reached non-league Ashington, he was already coming to terms with his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Retiring from football in the grip of a long-term degenerative disease took a serious toll on Kennedy’s circumstances and he was thankful that Arsenal and Liverpool arranged a friendly to raise money to help cover his medical expenses.

On 27th April 1991, he was applauded onto the pitch by a packed Highbury crowd and both sets of players; a fitting moment for a man who gave so much to both clubs.

Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and friends at this time.

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Hail Gus!

Really sad to hear about this. I saw him play for Liverpool against us in the 70s. He could do it all. And did. Rest in peace legend.

Steve Dracula

Brilliant player.

Up4GrabsNow!

Not old enough remember him as a Gunner but I certainly remember him with Liverpool. Kennedy, Case and Souness – a formidable midfield trio. Unreal that he was diagnosed at age 34. And I read he sold his medals and England caps to pay for his care. Sad. RIP Ray.

Abdul bakar

Sad to hear he sold all his medals. Continue to rest in peace Ray, thank you for all the memories

Magneto

That formidable Liverpool team played a 4 4 2 formation back then, with Steve Heighway (very underrated player) or Terry Mcdermott making up the midfield foursome.

Magneto

Ray Kennedy was one hell of a player, and had a sweet left foot. R.I.P.

Graeb

R.I.P. Ray – I’ll always remember it was your away goal in Fairs Cup which set us up to win a trophy after the wilderness years. It then led onto that header and win at Spuds for The Double part 1. I was one of thousands locked out that night but at Wembley for part 2.
You took a lot of stick for going to Liverpool but we appreciate your goals for Arsenal more.
Sorry for you and family for those subsequent years of fighting illness.

C.B.

One of the best moments ever, for me and Arsenal, winning the league with three minutes to go at White Hart Lane as well as Charlie George’s goal in the FA Cup Final win, securing the double.

Can’t be many better times in Arsenal history!!!

Thanks so much to Ray Kennedy, gone but never forgotten.

Teryima Adi

My heartfelt condolences. Sad😔🙏🙏

Rob67

Another memory from the Great Old Highbury days, goes.

Those two goals – the one against Anderlect at their place – and the winner to clinch the title at White Hart Lane, will always stay with me.

It’s part of my Arsenal DNA.

What a great goal scoring partnership he had, with John Radford.

Thanks Ray.

Podb

Superb player and warrior … from a different era but a legend on and off pitch. A Ray of light in 71 and beyond. Tks Ray.

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