Kennedy Andy Image 1 Arsenal 1924

Kennedy Andy Image 1 Arsenal 1924


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After starting out with Belfast Celtic’s youth set-up, Belfast born left back Andy Kennedy signed with Glentoran in 1915. He played two seasons in the Glens’ first eleven after making his debut during the 1918-19 campaign, making 36 appearances before signing for Crystal Palace in September 1920, with Kennedy’s Palace debut coming in an FA Cup tie against Hull City in January 1921. 1920-21 saw the Football League debuts of both Palace and Kennedy, Palace claiming the Division Three (South) title with Kennedy making just a single appearance at Newport County two weeks after his senior debut. Only 3 more games followed the following season in the Second Division before he transferred to Arsenal in August 1922.

He was initially viewed as a reserve player at Highbury, though after stepping into the first eleven for his debut against Birmingham City on 2nd December 1922 after Arthur Hutchins was dropped and he stayed in the team for all but one game through the remainder of the season. By the end of that campaign Kennedy had also been honoured by his country, standing in for Jack Curran at left-back, in a 3-0 win over Wales at Wrexham in April 1923. The following season was fairly disastrous for Kennedy, he missed the start of the campaign through injury, and on his return he struggled with form and was dropped.

Kennedy was back in the Arsenal team for the 1924-25 season, also returning to the Irish side when he won his second and final cap against England in a 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park in October 1924, before falling behind Rangers’ Billy McCandless in the left-back reckoning. Although he missed just one League game all season, Arsenal finished just above the relegation places, and Herbert Chapman replaced Leslie Knighton as manager. The club was about to embark on their first great period, but Chapman didn’t see Kennedy as playing a major part. It was only thanks to an injury to his replacement, Horace Cope, that Kennedy made the 1927 FA Cup Final team – famously the match ended in a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City, in a relatively rare outing and his only Cup appearance during their run to Wembley.

After two and a half years as a bit-part player at Highbury, Kennedy was transferred to Everton in January 1928 after 129 appearances for The Gunners. If he had hoped for regular matches at Goodison Park he was to be sadly disappointed. He had to wait until mid-way through the 1929-30 season to make his only first-team appearance as a Toffee, against Burnley. In June 1930 he dropped down to Division Three (North) with Tranmere Rovers. A regular in his first campaign at Prenton Park, making 38 appearances as the club finished just short of promotion, he dropped out of the first-team picture the following season without making the first team whatsoever, leaving the club in August 1932. He later acted as Arsenal’s scout in the north-west of England.

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