Ray Kennedy, former Arsenal, Liverpool and England player, dies aged 70
The former Arsenal, Liverpool and England player Ray Kennedy has died aged 70. Kennedy won league titles at both clubs, three European Cups with Liverpool and 17 caps in an England career that lasted from 1976-80.
Kennedy played almost 600 club games in a distinguished career during which he won every major domestic honour and which ended with spells at Swansea and Hartlepool, a period as player-manager of the Cypriot club Pezoporikos and a stint with Ashington. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984.
Kennedy played as a forward for Arsenal, with his debut in 1969 followed by more than 200 appearances for the club, during which he won the Double in 1971, before moving to Liverpool in 1974.
Converted there to a left midfielder by Bob Paisley, he won five league titles at Anfield and other trophies including a Uefa Cup and a League Cup before leaving in the summer of 1981. Earlier that year he had scored the pivotal away goal in the European Cup semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich.
Kennedy was given his England debut by Don Revie and appeared at the 1980 European Championship under Ron Greenwood before retiring from international football a year later.
Liverpool said in a statement: “The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool FC are with Ray’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”
The former Liverpool striker John Aldridge paid tribute to Kennedy, tweeting: “Yet another magnificent Ex LFC star has passed away folks. Ray Kennedy what a player and lovely bloke who suffered so much with Parkinson’s disease for most of his life. He will definitely never walk alone. RIP Ray ynwa.” Kennedy’s former teammate, Phil Thompson, tweeted: “More sad news with the passing of Ray, what a great player and such a wonderful team-mate RIP pal YNWA.”
Kennedy scored three goals for England, his first coming on his debut against Wales in March 1976. A tweet from the national team’s account read: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Kennedy at the age of 70. Ray won 17 caps for the ThreeLions between 1976 and 1980, scoring three times. All of our thoughts go out to his family, friends and former clubs.”