Wednesday, May 23, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 31: Alan Kennedy


At number 31 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is double European Cup winning hero Alan Kennedy.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Alan Kennedy

Years at Liverpool: 1978 to 1985
Position: Left-back

Date-of-birth: 31/8/1954
Birthplace: Sunderland

Signed from: Newcastle United (August 1978)

Games: 357
Goals: 21

Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84), European Cup (1981, 1984), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1979, 1980, 1982)

Have you heard the story about Alan Kennedy's two European Cup Final goals? It's a tale he likes to tell and it's one worth listening to because no other player in the history of continental club competition can claim to have done likewise. The mere mention of his name is enough for the mind to automatically conjure up magical images of never-to-be-forgotten nights in Paris and Rome. He will forever be inextricably linked with two of this club's finest triumphs and it's only right that no-one should be allowed to forget his immense contribution. Signed from Newcastle on the eve of the 1978/79 season, Kennedy had been on the losing side against Liverpool in the 1974 FA Cup Final but more than made up for that disappointment during a glorious seven year spell at Anfield. Ability-wise, Kennedy himself would admit he wasn't the best footballer in the world but he possessed other priceless attributes that added a new dimension to Bob Paisley's all-conquering machine. Energetic, enthusiastic and committed, Kennedy was prepared to run through brick walls in aid of the Liverpool cause and the fans took to him almost instantly. His battering-ram style when embarking on a foraging run down the left flank earned him the moniker 'Barney Rubble' after the popular cartoon character in the Flinstones. He became famous for his knack of scoring in crucial games and contrary to popular belief he didn't just save them for European Cup Finals. Kennedy capped his first season with the Reds by netting the opening goal in a victory over Aston Villa that clinched an 11th League Championship. Then there was his well-struck extra-time effort in the 1981 League Cup Final against West Ham at Wembley and an almost carbon-copy strike at the same venue (but opposite end) two years later as Manchester United were pegged back. Of course, his most celebrated moments were reserved for the grandest stage of all. Latching onto a Ray Kennedy throw-in nine minutes from time in the Parc de Prince in 1981, Barney cut in from the left and muscled his way through the Real Madrid defence before despatching his now legendary angled shot into the back of the Spaniard's net. Cue a manic celebration in front of the travelling Liverpudlian hordes and a third European Cup win. Fast forward three years and amid the nerve shredding tension of a penalty shoot-out in AS Roma's own Olympic Stadium up steps our hero once again to decide the destiny of the most coveted prize in club football, calmly slotting home the decisive spot-kick to silence the partisan home crowd. Cue another delirious jig of joy and a fourth European Cup triumph. It's debatable whether there'll ever be a more unlikely European Cup winning hero and, for that, Alan Kennedy will forever be spoken about in the highest regard by grateful Liverpudlians, who'll never tire of hearing about THOSE goals.

Sold to: Sunderland (September 1985)

Claim to fame: Paris '81 and Rome '84 – need we say anymore?

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