Alan Kennedy

Alan Kennedy

In the aftermath of Saturday’s disappointing result against Real Madrid, why don’t we indulge ourselves a bit. Another trip down Memory Lane to this day, 30th May, to the year 1984. Alan Kennedy, aka “Barney Rubble” scored the winning penalty as we lifted the European Cup for the fourth time. We defeated AS Roma in their own backyard in the Stadio Olimpico.

Alan Kennedy

Alan Kennedy
Alan Kennedy

As well as the 1984 final, Alan Kennedy was also the hero of our previous European Cup Final back in 1981. In 1981 it was his goal that saw Liverpool defeat this year’s final opponents Real Madrid.

Just as memorable as Kennedy’s winning penalty was the performance of Liverpool goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, in the penalty shoot-out. His ‘spaghetti legs’ routine had the desired effect in putting off the Roma penalty takers. Both Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani blazed their penalties high over Brucie’s crossbar.

In the normal 90 minutes, Phil Neal had given us a 1-0 lead early in the first off, only for Roberto Pruzzo to equalise three minutes before half-time. The game remained 1-1 after 90 minutes and after 120 minutes. Therefore bringing on the penalty shoot out.

Alan Kennedy, as we well know, scored the decisive penalty to enable us to lift the trophy for the 4th time.

Unlikely Hero

It isn’t often, or if at all, you get a full-back stealing the limelight in a European Cup Final. Let alone two!!!

Born in Sunderland, Kennedy began his professional career at Newcastle United at the age 18. He went on to establish himself in the side for a total of five years. Ironically he was a member of the Newcastle team that were battered by Liverpool in the 1974 FA Cup Final. Liverpool were linked with him for some time. Arguably, Kennedy and Terry McDermott were arguably Newcastle’s best performers in that final. McDermott as well as Alan Kennedy of course, also went on to sign for The Reds.

In 1978 Alan Kennedy transferred to Liverpool for £330,000. A lot of money in those days and in fact, a British record amount for a full back at that time.

Kennedy had a thing for scoring in finals. He also scored in the 1981 League Cup Final against West Ham at Wembley. The game ended in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool going on to win the replay at Villa Park a few days later.

That’s not all. He also scored the equalising goal with 15 minutes left in the 1983 League Cup final against Manchester United. We went on to win this final in extra-time with a Ronnie Whelan ‘special’.

Alan Kennedy’s Career At Liverpool

A quick, short summary of Barney Rubble’s Anfield career. In all he played a total of 359 games for Liverpool, scoring 20 goals.

Barney was a great attacking left-back who, as touched on above, had the knack of scoring vital goals for Liverpool. Kennedy was an England B-international when we signed him. Bob Paisley was well pleased with his new capture when he captured him just two days before the European deadline of 15 August 1978. Paisley went to say:

“He will be a first-class capture. He is fast, likes to move up to attack and should fit into our side very quickly”

There would be seven men challenging for the back four positions. Hughes, Thompson, Hansen, Neal, Jones, Kennedy and Irwin. Paisley wanted Kennedy because he wanted more competition for places.

Paisley also added: ‘If this lad doesn‘t play for England I‘ll throw myself in the Mersey…when the tide is out.’

The signing of Alan Kennedy solved a big problem for Liverpool. The left-back position had been a bit of a ‘problem-area’ for Liverpool in 1977/78 with Joey Jones, Tommy Smith and Alan Hansen all wearing the No. 3 shirt at some stage of that season.

Kennedy’s first game was against Queens Park Rangers, a game which Liverpool won 2-1. However, kennedy didn’t have a stellar debut as it happens.

As Kennedy himself said:

“Early on I mis-kicked with my right foot – the one I use for standing on – and knocked a policeman’s helmet off. I also conceded a couple of corners and made a few errors. I just wanted half-time to come to get some reassurance from the manager but when I got back to the dressing room, Bob said to me, ‘I think that they shot the wrong Kennedy!’

Luckily however, things improved for Kennedy and very quickly as well.

He was a stalwart in the Liverpool side for seven years. His time at Liverpool came to an end though in 1985 when he moved to his hometown club, Sunderland. His last appearance for Liverpool was on 14th September 1985.

A very popular player with the fans. And now a very popular pundit on the LFC channel and in his role as a legend tour guide for the Anfield tour.

You need to watch this great Alan Kennedy video in his role as legend tour guide.

Alan Kennedy has provided us with many great memories and deserves his place at number 31 in the “100 Players Who Shook The Kop” poll.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Previous Post
On This Day 2nd June 1957-Mark Lawrenson
June Liverpool Players Past And Present On This Day

On This Day 2nd June

Next Post
Looking Forward
View From The Kop

Looking Forward

Leave a Reply

Available for Amazon Prime