12 January: Chapman sells Andy Kennedy

Andy Kennedy was born in 1897 and died December 1963 who was signed by Leslie Knighton for Arsenal in 1922 having played original for Glentoran.

He played 24  league games and two FA Cup games in his first season for the Arsenal, starting on December 9.   We have no record of the transfer fee paid, but given he came from 3rd division south team Crystal Palace, and had only played one game for them, the amount would have been small.

At the end of his first season for Arsenal he won two caps for Ireland.  Arsenal came 11th in the first division that season – a major improvement on the 17th of the season before and there was some hope that Arsenal might at last start to put in a challenge for a trophy.

But it was a false dawn and the following year Arsenal slipped down to 19th in the league.  It is currently written on Wiki that “injury wrecked his 1923-24 season – Kennedy missed the start of the season, and after returning was dropped from the side after Arsenal lost 6-1 to Huddersfield Town”

But my record books don’t show this at all.  As far as I can see he played 29 games that season – having two spells where he may have been injured.  He played the first eight league games and indeed was there for the Huddersfield away defeat, but returned to the team after just seven games.

1924/5 was even worse for Arsenal as they ended 20th – the worst performance of all time at Highbury, and Andy Kennedy played 40 out of 42 games (not 41 as Wiki says).

Then Sir Henry Norris had had enough, Knighton left to write his autobiography and continue his undistinguished career as a manager, and Herbert Chapman came in.  Kennedy played the first 13 games of 1925/6 before Bob John was moved into defence to replace him leaving Kennedy very much as the reserve.  He did however play in the last eight games of the 1926/7 season including the FA Cup Final.

In January 1928 Andy Kennedy was sold to Everton, having played 129 times for Arsenal.  However Everton played him only once, and he moved to Tranmere, where he stayed for two seasons, retiring in 1930.

As I suggested above, what would be most interesting to know is how much Arsenal paid for Kennedy.  This is the era in which, according to Knighton, Sir Henry only allowed him to spend up to £1000 on a player.  I suspect Kennedy cost quite a bit less than that.  If that is the case the £2000 received from Everton was an interesting profit for the club.

One other little factor, I can’t find him scoring a single goal for any of the clubs he played for.

Regrettably there is nothing I can find about what he did after leaving football.

Herbert Chapman and the Left Back Position

Leslie Knighton Index

Herbert Chapman Index

The books…

The sites…


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