1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A RAY OF HOPE

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Cup final week 2001
a centre stage for everyone
a worldwide audience comes to town
for english footballs ‘jewel in the crown’.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 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.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 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.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 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.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 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.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 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.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 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.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 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.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 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.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 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.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 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.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 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.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 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’.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 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.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 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.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 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.

18 Leave a comment on verse 18 0 Dave Kirby


I was devastated to see a picture of Ray Kennedy in his present state. He was one of the best players I’ve ever seen.
This poem was posted on the eve of the 2001 FA cup final.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/a-ray-of-hope/