A RAY OF HOPE
Cup final week 2001
a centre stage for everyone
a worldwide audience comes to town
for english footballs ‘jewel in the crown’.
A day of glamour for players and fans
fanfares, balloons, and marching bands
but far from cardiffs millenium dome
a lonely figure sits at home.
A frail man who barely talks
who needs assistance when he walks
a man who once stood proud and tall
who’s now discarded by them all.
But that’s not how it’s always been
a Geordie boy burst on the scene
an instant star at highbury
his name of course, Ray Kennedy.
Think back exactly 30 years
before the illness and the tears
life was so sweet before your troubles
as you helped Arsenal win the double.
You stayed with the Gunners till 74
then Shanks came knocking on your door
his final signing you would be
a master stroke we all agree.
You were quite lethal in front of goal
but ‘Sir Bob’ gave you a differant role
to left midfield, and what a change
with your vision, goals, and passing range.
4 championships, 3 european cups
1 league, 1 uefa, is what you notched up
your records there for all to see
you’re part of Liverpool’s history.
What happened next was tragedy
you had a change of personality
with your life and marriage on its knees
you were stricken by Parkinsons Disease.
You were coaching youths at Ssunderland
when your worsening illness forced their hand
it was shortly after they cut you loose
you became a virtual recluse.
Financial ruin was quick to follow
you lost your pub then had to borrow
the lowest point was yet to come
your precious medals were all sold on.
It’s so sad to see a football great
end up in such a sorry state
a man who never walked alone
in an empty flat with a silent phone.
At the F.A. cup final this year
it would be great for him to hear
Reds and Gunners in harmony
singing ‘Ray Ray Kennedy’.
The clubs should strive to find a way
to treat him like a king that day
just give the man a warm embrace
and bring a smile back to his face.
For when this week is done and gone
his lonely life will carry on
there’s no one knocking on his door
for he’s not famous any more.
So from us all who watched you play
thankyou so much and we all pray
that god will send from his healing hand
a ‘Ray of hope’ for this lonely man.