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Swansea City top-flight Jacks Ray Kennedy

In our new website feature, we focus on players who featured for Swansea City during the club's previous foray into the top flight of English football.
Next under the spotlight is former Liverpool and England midfielder Ray Kennedy.


RAY KENNEDY
Date of birth: July 28, 1951
Appearances/goals for the Swans: 59 appearances; 2 goals.
Former clubs: Arsenal (1968-1974), Liverpool (1974-1982), Swansea City (1982-1983), Hartlepool United (1983)
Memorable moment: Against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season in 1971, Kennedy scored a late goal to hand Arsenal the title, five days before completing the double with the Gunners at Wembley.
Did you know? Kennedy was turned down by Port Vale after he failed to impress during a trial with the club in 1968. The Port Vale manager at the time was Stanley Matthews, who deemed the attacker not good enough to make the grade at the club.

By the time of his arrival at the Vetch Field in January 1982, Kennedy was already the most decorated player in English football.
A boy from the North East of England, he was spotted playing youth football by an Arsenal scout before joining the Gunners in 1968.
Kennedy made his Football League debut against Chelsea in 1969 and, after coming on as a substitute in the 1970 Fairs Cup final, he scored in the Gunners' 3-1 defeat that helped the club to eventually win the trophy after a 3-0 second-leg victory.
By the start of the following season, he was a regular in the Arsenal first-team, being deployed as a striker. He finished the campaign as the club's top scorer with 27 goals as Arsenal went to complete the domestic double of the league title and the FA Cup.
In 1974, Kennedy left Arsenal to join Liverpool in a £180,000 deal, where he continued to enjoy huge success. During his eight seasons on Merseyside, he won five league titles, three European Cups, alongside one League Cup and one UEFA Cup.
It was while at Liverpool that Kennedy won the first of his 17 senior England caps, making his debut against Wales at Wrexham in 1976. By this time, Kennedy had moved from playing as a centre-forward to playing as an attacking midfielder, which he took in his stride.
After a remarkable start to life in the First Division, Swans manager John Toshack sought to strengthen his squad with experience in the midfield area. For £160,000, Toshack bought English football's most decorated player to the Vetch Field in January 1982.
Kennedy made his debut in Swansea's 2-0 home defeat of Manchester United before going on to add a Welsh Cup winners' medal to his already bulging trophy cabinet by the end of the season.
But, unfortunately, this was as good as it got for Kennedy at the Vetch Field. The following season saw an end to his time at the club after a public falling out with the manager, who accused the player of not putting in the required effort during games.
So after just a single season, Kennedy moved back home to lowly Hartlepool United where he retired from the game after less than a year when he was diagnosed with the beginnings of the debilitating Parkinson's disease.
Since finishing retiring from football, the three-time European Cup winner has been busy promoting his illness with his 'Ray of Hope Appeal' that goes towards helping people who have the same condition.

 

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ClubTop-flight Jacks

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