Ray Kennedy’s Testimonial At Arsenal On This Day, 27th April 1991

If there has been a more decorated player than Ray Kennedy, I am at a loss to think of whom it might be. He is unique I am sure, in the combinations of trophies won; domestic double, Champions Cup / League double, UEFA Cup / League double. A winner of the FA and Welsh Cups. The list isn’t bad for a young lad who was told by Sir Stanley Matthews that he wouldn’t make the grade:

  • UEFA European Club Champions Cup: (3) 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81
  • Football League Champions: (6) 1970-71, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82
  • Football League Runners-up: (2) 1972-73, 1977-78,
  • FA Cup winner: (1) 1970-71
  • FA Cup runners-up: (2) 1971-72, 1976-77
  • Football League Cup winner: (1) 1980-81
  • Football League Cup runners-up: (1) 1977-78
  • FA Charity Shield winner: (4) 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980
  • Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winner: (1) 1969-70
  • UEFA Cup winner: (1) 1975-76
  • UEFA Super Cup winner: (1) 1977
  • UEFA Super Cup runners-up: (1) 1978
  • World Club Championship runners-up: (1) 1981
  • Welsh Cup winner: (1) 1983

He must rank as one of the youngest ever winners of the domestic double and will never be forgotten, not just for the goal at White Hart Lane but the other 26 that accompanied it.

When he left Highbury in 1974, it was the first time that I can remember being heartbroken. Yet I have never heard anyone say a bad word, even before his illness was made public knowledge. My esteem never dropped to the extent that my father would take me to any game where Kennedy was playing  – generally at Bristol City or Aston Villa – even if it involved not seeing Arsenal that day.

It still seems baffling to me that he was only capped 17 times by England, especially when you consider the paucity of talent in the country during his playing days.

On this day in 1991, Arsenal entertained Liverpool in a testimonial where supporters of both clubs appreciated his service and to help him with his then relatively recently diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease, a fight he continues to this day.