Skip to content

Ray Kennedy: Former Liverpool & Arsenal great dies aged 70

Ray Kennedy, who won the league and cup double with Arsenal, suffered from Parkinson's disease; at Liverpool he won five league titles, three European Cups, a League Cup and a UEFA Cup; Bob Paisley said "he was one of Liverpool's greatest players and probably the most underrated"

Ray Kennedy

Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Kennedy has died aged 70.

Kennedy, who also played for Arsenal, suffered from Parkinson's disease in the latter stages of his career and for the rest of his life.

A statement from Liverpool read: "The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool FC are with Ray's family and friends at this sad and difficult time."

Kennedy turned professional at Arsenal, with whom he played for from 1968 until 1974 as a striker, winning the league and FA Cup double before being sold to Liverpool for a club-record fee at the time.

Liverpool signed Kennedy on the day Bill Shankly resigned as manager.

He became a left-sided midfielder under Bob Paisley, winning five league titles, three European Cups, the UEFA Cup and the League Cup over an eight-year spell as part of the highly successful Liverpool side of the 1970s.

A personal highlight was his pivotal away goal in the 1981 European Cup semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

Paisley said of Kennedy in his autobiography: "In my view he was one of Liverpool's greatest players and probably the most underrated."

Kennedy, who also played for Swansea City and Hartlepool United before retiring in 1985, earned 17 caps for England, and represented his country at Euro 1980.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984 and a testimonial game between Liverpool and Arsenal was held in 1991.

Later that year he sold his medals and 17 England caps to help raise funds for his care.

Football pays its respects to 'magnificent' Kennedy

A statement on the official Twitter account of the England team 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."

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."

Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson tweeted: "More sad news with the passing of Ray, what a great player and such a wonderful team-mate RIP pal YNWA."

Former Liverpool defender Neil Ruddock said on Twitter: "Sad to hear the passing of Ray Kennedy today what a player this fella was thoughts are with his family and friends #lfc."

Ronnie Whelan described his former team-mate as "an absolute legend at both Arsenal and Liverpool", adding on Twitter: "Learned so much by watching him play. RIP Ray."

Around Sky