Author Topic: Ray Kennedy  (Read 3891 times)

Offline norecat

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Ray Kennedy
« on: November 4, 2020, 04:42:24 pm »
I was listening to John Giles talking about his late brother in law Nobby Stiles. How Stiles had to sell off his medals to meet medical bills. He felt rightly that the game in England failed Stiles given all he gave to the game. He was referring to the English FA and Manchester United. It got me thinking about Ray Kennedy who has Parkinson's disease since the mid 80's. Do we know if Liverpool as a club or the FA or PFA has done anything for him I'm sure there are other former LFC players too who sadly may need help.

I reckon players who played in this century at the top level should be alright financially.

Offline redboxingyeti

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 10:10:39 am »
Surprised noone has responded to this post - would be great to hear if LFC or the FA are providing some sort of support to Ray, and no doubt countless others affected by Parkinsons, dementia and other horrible illnesses possibly brought on, or made worse, by football.

As an aside though, what a monumental player Ray Kennedy was - for me he has to be in the top 3 midfielders we've ever had - after Stevie and Souness (assuming Barnes is classed as forward). Honourable mention to Terry Mac as well.

Keep fighting Ray.

Offline Stubbins

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 11:59:44 am »
Both LFC and Arsenal have supported Ray in the past, but I'm don't know how recently. Nor have I heard what his current situation is and how he's faring. His son still lives in the North East and is a big Red, travelling down to Anfield regularly (at least when we could all go to matches). Might be that he's actually a member of this forum. It would be good to know how Ray is doing.

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2021, 12:48:38 am »

...As an aside though, what a monumental player Ray Kennedy was - for me he has to be in the top 3 midfielders we've ever had - after Stevie and Souness (assuming Barnes is classed as forward). Honourable mention to Terry Mac as well.

Keep fighting Ray.

aye that's a good shout, chipping in with 70 goals, and once Paisley put him into midfield we more or less won every game for 5 years. My spec was in the Paddock - Kop end - and was always disappointed because I didn't get to clearly see Ray's far post goals because of my short-arse teenage vantage point, even stood on a crate  ;D

Offline Red Sky at Night

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 12:55:31 pm »
Liverpool played Arsenal in 1991 at Highbury in a testimonial game for Ray. I believe money raised went to research into Parkinson's disease.

A great name from Liverpool's illustrious past.

If you get the chance, I'd highly recommend his biography - "Ray of Hope: The Ray Kennedy Story" .... the first part of the book title says it all
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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2021, 12:38:20 pm »
From The Athletic 👍

“It’s like my dad has had two different lives. In that first life, he had the kind of success and the kind of experiences most of us can only dream of. He’s got that to look back on. The second life has been a lot tougher but he’s still here. He’s still going.”

Dale’s father is legendary Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder Ray Kennedy, who enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career. A league title, an FA Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in five seasons with Arsenal were followed by eight magical years at Anfield which yielded five league titles, three European Cups, a UEFA Cup and a League Cup.

Bob Paisley once described him as “one of Liverpool’s greatest players and probably the most underrated”. Kennedy is also still revered at Arsenal having been part of their historic double-winning team of 1970-71 before moving north three years later.

However, the “second life” his son talks about has been far removed from the glitz and glamour of professional football. Thirty-five years have passed since Ray was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

It’s been a long and painful struggle against a cruel and debilitating illness that is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain. He lives in a bungalow in the village of New Hartley in his native Northumberland – a short drive from Newcastle — with carers providing round-the-clock support.

Like Ray, his family are private people. They have never sought sympathy or pity. Interview requests are usually politely declined. But Jimmy Case, another mainstay of Paisley’s all-conquering Liverpool line-up, has helped set this one up to mark his best mate’s recent 70th birthday.

“I want it to be a positive piece rather than a cry for help,” says Dale.

“It’s a source of great comfort to us that Ray is still remembered so fondly by Liverpool fans and we want them to know that’s he’s doing OK. He’s poorly but he battles on.

“He’s very resilient. He makes the best of a bad situation. Each day, two carers do a 12-hour shift so he’s got help all the time. They are there to assist him with meals and help him to get ready. A big thing is ensuring he takes his medication every two hours — it’s really important he gets the right medication at the right time.

“Me and my sister Cara go down there a few times a week. Cara has two kids and Dad loves seeing his grandkids. We always go on a Sunday to have dinner with him. He only lives 20 minutes away. For his 70th, we had a tea party with balloons. A couple of his friends who live nearby called in as well. Family came to see him at different times, so he had a week of celebrations, really.

“He doesn’t get out a lot – apart from doctor’s appointments or haircuts – and if we’re going to go somewhere, we’ll take the wheelchair. But he still loves watching all the football on TV. He was over the moon when Liverpool won the Premier League.”

There are two photos on the mantlepiece in Ray’s front room. Both are cherished mementoes from the tireless work he did when he was well enough to help raise awareness and funds for the Parkinson’s Disease Society (now known as Parkinson’s UK).

“One is of him with Muhammad Ali, the other with Princess Diana,” says Dale. “They take pride of place in the house. Ali was always a massive hero of Dad’s and it meant so much to him that he got to meet him.

Ray Kennedy with the legendary Muhammad Ali
“The way his illness is, I could ring him now and not quite understand what he’s saying. But then I could ring again in an hour’s time and he would be clear as a bell. It’s up and down all day with the medication, depending on whether it’s kicking in or wearing off.

“Knowing him so well and seeing him all the time, I know what he’s saying, where a stranger off the street or someone he hasn’t seen for a while would find understanding him a lot more difficult. It’s not easy but, as a family, we manage.”

Jimmy Case made his Liverpool debut against Queens Park Rangers towards the end of Ray Kennedy’s first season at Anfield in 1974-75. A special bond was formed.

“Ray and I shared a room for seven years,” Case tells The Athletic. “We just hit it off. I used to polish Ray’s shoes and he used to polish mine when we got ready for matches. We were both tidy — no pants strewn everywhere!

“If we were away with the team in a hotel, if one of us walked in for dinner, the other would always walk through the door five seconds later. Ray was three years older than me, he had won the double at Arsenal and he was the perfect person for me to learn from in terms of how he conducted himself and his professionalism.

“A lot of people used to say to me, ‘Ray doesn’t do as much work as you, he doesn’t run all over the place’. That was because he was so clever. He knew the game inside out. He knew instinctively where to be. He was always in the right position.

“My brother sent me a video recently of Ray’s goal of the season against Derby County (in February 1979). Terry McDermott receiving the ball near the halfway line in the outside right position. He picked out Ray’s run with a decent pass but what a first touch, just look at the way he goes around the keeper and slots it. He’d been a striker for years but Bob Paisley decided to move Ray back into the left side of midfield and it proved to be a masterstroke.

“Some people used to go along just to watch Ray. I loved watching him play and I had one of the best views. That midfield of Graeme Souness, Terry McDermott, Ray and myself had everything.”

Dale was born in Southport, 15 miles north of Liverpool, towards the end of his dad’s time at Anfield. Now 40, he’s a Newcastle-based builder who specialises in fitting double glazed windows and conservatories. He’s also a member of the North East Liverpool Supporters’ Club and before the pandemic attended most home league games. Growing up, he loved hearing the stories of a man who turned out to be Bill Shankly’s last Liverpool signing.

“I never got to watch my dad play live but I’ve seen plenty of footage,” he says. “He’s never been one to blow his own trumpet. He’s always been very humble about what he achieved in football.

“One big thing for him was overcoming the adversity of being released by Port Vale as a teenager after the great Stanley Matthews, their manager, told him he was too slow to make it as a professional. He had left home at the age of 15. That was hard for him but it paid off in the end with all the trophies he won at Arsenal and Liverpool.

“His goal against Bayern Munich in the second (away) leg of the European Cup semi-final in ’81 means a lot. He was captain that day too (the game ended 1-1, which meant Liverpool went through on away goals),” says Dale. “Bob Paisley said my dad was the one he always had the most enquiries about from other clubs. But he never told him about them because he didn’t want to lose him.”

Jimmy Case and Ray Kennedy celebrate Liverpool’s 1977 European Cup success (Photo: Getty Images)
Ray’s health problems started in his early 30s. He suffered from fatigue, mood swings and his joints would seize up. His condition went undiagnosed as his effectiveness on the field dwindled.

After scoring 72 goals in 393 games for Liverpool, he left to join Swansea City in 1982 to play for former Anfield team-mate John Toshack, but their relationship became strained as the manager publicly questioned his commitment.

In the space of two-and-a-half years, Ray went from lifting the European Cup in May 1981 to playing for fourth division Hartlepool United back in his native north east. He was still only 32. There was then a short spell in Cyprus before another stint near home with non-League Ashington.

“There was a long time between having the first symptoms and actually being diagnosed,” explains Dale. “Toshack used to say to him, ‘Why don’t you start games when everyone else does?’ Looking back, that sluggishness was part of the Parkinson’s. It used to take him a while to get going. Dad always says he never blamed Toshack for some of the things he said. He wasn’t to know what was going on with Dad’s health. It was just with hindsight that everyone realised why that was happening.

“Another story he tells is when it was a red-hot day and he was struggling to do his buttons up on his shirt when he was getting changed after a game. He just didn’t have that dexterity in his fingers and couldn’t work out why.”

In his autobiography, Ray wrote about how he often felt like “the odd man out” in the dressing room after playing for Liverpool. “I used to slump hunched in my seat, too tired to move. I tried to kid myself I was more tired because I had worked harder than the others during a match, yet I knew it was not the case. The odd thing was, I could always perform for the full 90 minutes and was rarely the one to be substituted.”

Case recalls: “I remember Ray having a heated argument with one of the Liverpool lads in a hotel. Tommy Smith came up to me and said, ‘Can you speak to Ray? It’s getting out of hand and you’re the only one he will listen to’.

“When Ray told me what it was about, it was nothing. I told him to leave it and he did. You started to notice little things that weren’t right, and he was always so tired.”

Ray was finally diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 35. Most people who develop the disease are over 60. There is no cure and it’s simply a case of managing it with medication.

“When I was a kid, there were times when Dad wouldn’t be well enough to come along and watch me play football, so this illness was just something I grew up with,” says Dale. “It became part of our normal life. It’s been such a long time, decades, and the symptoms have changed over the years. He started off shaking, where now he doesn’t really have tremors.

“It’s a degenerative disease. They have to tailor the medication to that particular time. A certain medication works for so long and as the disease progresses they need to change it and try something else. It’s not like they say to everyone with Parkinson’s, ‘Just take this (single drug)’. It’s quite an individual illness, people have it to varying degrees. He still goes to the hospital about every six months.

“A new study came out recently about how ex-footballers are much more likely to get dementia in later life. There’s no proven link between Parkinson’s and playing football but that’s not to say that there isn’t one. There’s a lot of research going on.”

Parkinson’s robbed Ray of the opportunity to pursue a second career in coaching. The testimonial Arsenal and Liverpool put on at Highbury in 1991 (pictured top) initially helped financially.

“My sister and I were mascots,” recalls Dale. “I saw the photo on Twitter recently where Dad was coming out of the tunnel and I’m in the corner of it. The Liverpool kit was too big for me and the Arsenal kit was too small for my sister.

“But I refused to swap because I was like, ‘I have to be the Liverpool mascot’, so I rolled the shorts up and tucked the shirt in. She had to squeeze into the Arsenal strip. That day meant so much to Dad. I remember as he was coming back through the tunnel Roy Evans and Ronnie Moran were in tears and hugging him. It was emotional.”

In 1993, Ray took the difficult decision to sell all his medals and his 17 England caps.

“It was just a case of not being able to earn a living, and at that point he still had a lot of his life still left to live,” Dale adds. “It was more for a safety net than anything else. He had his pension but apart from that he was no longer bringing an income in.

“I know some of his Liverpool medals are in the National Football Museum in Manchester. I’ve actually got seven of his England caps. The guy who bought them in the auction left them to me in his will, which was an amazing gesture.”

In 2008, a group of Liverpool fans led by Karl Coppack launched the Ray of Hope Appeal. Their efforts, which included auctioning signed items and visiting all 92 league grounds in England and Wales, raised around £50,000. “It was unreal what they achieved,” says Dale. “It was a massive help and took the pressure off. It meant Dad could relax and not have that worry. It was totally off their own back and it was much appreciated.”

The following year, Ray was guest of honour at Anfield for what turned out to be a thrilling 4-4 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal. Before kick-off that night, both sets of supporters paid tribute to him with mosaics of his shirt numbers at the two clubs, ‘5’ and ‘10’, on the Kop and in the away end.

Kennedy is an Arsenal hero after scoring the goal that won them the title at Tottenham in 1971 (Photo: Getty Images)
“At the time, Dad was quite unsteady on his feet and I was worried he was going to fall over,” says Dale. “But when he stepped back onto that field and waved to the fans it was like he gained extra strength from somewhere inside him. It was unbelievable.”

His last trip to Anfield was three years ago, for a 3-0 win over Bournemouth. “It would be difficult to take Dad to another game as it’s quite an exertion for him but I would like to try again one day,” he adds.

There’s been some financial help over the years from the Professional Footballers’ Association to buy furniture and make changes to the bungalow given his increasing lack of mobility.

Before the pandemic, Case would fly up from Southampton to visit his old pal.

“I last went just before COVID struck,” he says. “I used to phone quite regularly but it’s become more difficult to understand what Ray says. The last time I visited, Dale came along too and helped ‘translate’ for me.

“It’s hard seeing someone you care about like that. I mean, how do you handle something like that? What he’s gone through, and for so long, I don’t know how he’s done it. It’s just so sad. I know some of the lads find it too hard and want to remember Ray the way he was.

“He’s not great on his feet. I was making a cup of tea for us in his kitchen and heard him tumble over. I was like, ‘Come on, Ray, what are you doing down there?’ We still have a joke, like old times. That’s what we’re like. He still watches a lot of football.

“Everywhere I go, every function I do, people always ask me, ‘How’s your mate Ray doing?’ He’s still so loved and always in the supporters’ minds.”

That’s a source of great comfort for Ray’s family.

“We stay positive,” Dale says. “The good thing is that he battles on. He never complains. He’s still got a good sense of humour. When I go down there, we still have a laugh. It’s not like you go down there and he doesn’t know who you are. He still has a quality of life. He knows what’s going on.

“Some of the great players my dad played with, like Emlyn Hughes, Tommy Smith and Ray Clemence, aren’t here anymore.

“So the fact he’s still here and we get to spend time with him and enjoy life together, you just have to take it for what it is. We keep going. None of us know what’s around the corner.”
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Online Nitramdorf

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2021, 06:58:56 pm »
From The Athletic 👍

Thank you so much for posting this Paul. This man was one of my first heroes as a lad and still is.

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2021, 12:56:59 pm »
Thanks Paul, I’ve got an Athletic sub following LFC and wasn’t notified of that article. Fuckers.

Fantastic read though, heart-warming that Ray is still cracking on with things with family all around and mates like Jimmy Case.
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Offline Mighty_Red

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2021, 02:34:37 pm »
Read this early this morning, great article and desperately sad for one of our heroes but its good that he's able to battle on.
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Offline oojason

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2021, 02:09:26 pm »
A few videos on the superb Ray Kennedy...

'Ray Kennedy Liverpool FC Goals Collection' - a 17 minute video by Dave Waller:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray of Hope - The Ray Kennedy Story' - a 50 minute video:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

^ 'A 1991 video about Ray Kennedy, one of the greatest players ever to play for Liverpool.  The video tells the story of his career with Arsenal and Liverpool, and his subsequent diagnosis with Parkinson's disease.'

Some footage has been removed to avoid it being blocked by UEFA (who love to block anything to do with European matches up on youtube when they can).

Also available here - (48 minutes)

'Ray Kennedy – Liverpool Football Club 1974–1982' - a 6 minute video, by MerseyGoals:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray Kennedy' - a 4 minute video of some of his goals for Liverpool:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Liverpool Legend - Ray Kennedy' (from '100 Players That Shook The Kop') - 7 minute video:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray Kennedy #YNWA' - a 2 minute video on twitter:-

'Goal Of The Season - 1978/79; Ray Kennedy of Liverpool vs Derby County' - a 13 second video clip:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray Kennedy in "501 Arsenal Goals"' - a 5 minute video, with some of the top goals Ray scored for Arsenal, before his move to Liverpool in 1974:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray Kennedy For 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 goal and for so much more, we thank you' - with footage of the goal scored by Ray for Arsenal vs Spurs, to win the league in 1971:-

'Spurs 0 Arsenal 1 - Title decider at the Lane 1971' - a 2 minute video; with Ray Kennedy sealing the league title for Arsenal:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'"You'll Never Walk Alone" and Ray Kennedy tribute' - a 2 minute video from 21st April, 2009:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Ray Kennedy walking out to a standing ovation Liverpool vs Arsenal 21/04/09' - a 1 minute video:-

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

'Our special tribute to the legendary Ray Kennedy' - a 2 and a half minute video tribute to Ray Kennedy, from LFC:-

^ Ray walking out at Highbury for his testimonial match on Saturday 27th April, 1991 -


A few youtube playlists of Liverpool matches, by the superb idamaria7, for each of the seasons that Ray played for Liverpool...

1974/75 :

1975/76 : :

1976/77 : :

1977/78 : :

1978/79 : :

1979/80 : :

1980/81 : :

1981/82 : :

Some older 'Club History' videos featuring Ray Kennedy :

 Player Profile for Ray - Player Profile - (with articles quotes and a scrapbook)
Wikipedia Page -
The Ray Kennedy Cup: uniting Parkinson’s football teams from across Europe -
Fans unite to aid forgotten Liverpool & Arsenal great Ray Kennedy (1991) -
Ray Kennedy's return to Anfield (2009) -

My Favourite Player: Ray Kennedy -
Kennedy: Still a Ray of Sunshine -
Ray Kennedy: The Quiet Man -
A tribute to Ray; the triumph and the tragedy -
The Triumph and the Tragedy -
When did Ray Kennedy's Parkinson's disease begin? (article at the National Library of Medicine) -
How we met; Dr Andrew Less and Ray Kennedy - mourns the passing of Ray Kennedy article - (30th November, 2021)
Rest in peace, Ray: a true legend of the game -
The Athletic (free) -
RAWK 'Ray Kennedy has died RIP' thread -

BBC article -
Kennedy: a classy and crucial part of Liverpool's era of dominance -
Guardian article -
Ray Kennedy obituary -
Ray Kennedy: a life in pictures -
Liverpool Echo article -

Ray Kennedy's emotional tribute to Liverpool fans -

another RAWK Ray Kennedy thread -

^ from the Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal match, in 2009 -

^ from the Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa match, in 2021 (the first home match since Ray's passing) -


• A mini-index of RAWK's 'Liverpool Audio / Video thread' content info for years gone by, recent times, Season Reviews, Cup Final victories - Domestic, European, and World, etc:- &

1989/90 : 1987/88 : 1985/86 : 1983/84 : Shankly : Paisley : Fagan : Kenny : Houllier : Rafa : Barnes : Hansen : Souness : Rush : Clem : Ray : Memorable YNWAs.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2022, 06:15:11 pm by oojason »
Some 'Useful Info' for following the football + TV, Streams, Highlights & Replays etc -

A mini-index of RAWK's 'Liverpool Audio / Video thread' content over the years; & more -

Online red_Mark1980

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2021, 02:52:45 pm »
Taggy of Taggys bar reporting he's sadly passed away today.

RIP if so

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2021, 03:10:25 pm »
Taggy of Taggys bar reporting he's sadly passed away today.

RIP if so
yes i just posted on main board

Carra and Ged Rea tweeted it

very sad

Surprised he was only 70, i always thought he was older as its a very long time since he played
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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2021, 04:17:40 pm »
From The Athletic 👍

Thanks for posting that Paul, it was a great, but difficult read.

Ray was one of my favourite players and as Bob Paisley said, “one of Liverpool’s greatest players and probably the most underrated”.

Yes he was one of the best players I have seen and rarely gets mentioned as one of our greats. I'd say he would walk onto our first team in his prime........he was that good a player. His style was very "modern" and he had the ability to do almost anything. His time playing up front for Arsenal gave him the knowledge of how to be in the right place at the right time. He passed the ball as well as Gerrard or Souness.

Legend is an overused word, but Ray truely was in a class of his own. A Legend.

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2021, 11:34:36 pm »
Shankly's last player and Paisley's first, another legend gone
aarf, aarf, aarf.

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #14 on: December 1, 2021, 07:27:20 am »
A wonderful compilation put up recently (September) of all his goals for the Reds.

You can see the striker in him in the touch in the box and quick finishes. RIP.

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2021, 10:53:40 am »
For those who have BT Sports there's a programme on @9:45 tonight (BT Sports 3) about the life and career of Ray.
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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2021, 02:46:23 pm »
For those who have BT Sports there's a programme on @9:45 tonight (BT Sports 3) about the life and career of Ray.

Cheers for that..
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Offline FLRed67

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2021, 04:52:16 pm »
Prototype of the modern player. Strength, speed, and touch. And a natural goalscorer.

Klopp would have loved him.

And now we know he was that good and won everything while suffering from Parkinson's. :o
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 04:59:35 pm by FLRed67 »

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2021, 12:26:15 am »
Stingray for anyone who was at that Grimsby game
aarf, aarf, aarf.

Offline spen71

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Re: Ray Kennedy
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2021, 11:29:47 am »
Just watched the programme on BT sports.   Was a great watch