Arsenal News


Arsenal News
Arsenal News
May 2022

Kevin Stead, Arsenal man of mystery

When looking for footballers and managers who have been involved with Arsenal, I do a few searches of books and web sites trying to find the relevant information.   If there is very little then the chances are that the player played 100 or more years ago.

So to find a player whose life seems to be a bit of a mystery and yet who joined Arsenal in July 1977 seems odd.  The manager at the time was Terry Neill – who had been at Tottenham before coming to Arsenal – maybe that is part of the explanation of what follows.

Kevin Stead was a defender who joined Arsenal from Tottenham on a free transfer in July 1977 – one year after Terry Neill came to Arsenal.

However having made no impact at Tottenham he also made no impact at Arsenal and took part in just two games.  As far as I know (and this is just a deduction from some figures he played 14 times for Tottenham, and then made his two appearances with Arsenal in the 1978/9 season.   Wiki says that he went on to play with Oxford City.

Of the two first-team games he had for Arsenal one was a start (against Southampton) and one was as a sub against Wolverhampton.  Both were in September 1978.

That’s it.  No knowledge that I can find of what happened, or why it happened, or what happened after.  If you know, do tell.

The books…

See also…

Other sites from the same team…

15 comments to Kevin Stead, Arsenal man of mystery

  • He didn’t play an first team games for Tottenham. His brother Micky played 15 games for Tottenham between 1975/6 and 1977/8. I think the confusion stems from a wikipedia article about the North London Derby which had Kevin listed as a player that had played for both clubs.

  • danskinappreciationsociety

    Kevin Stead’s two games were in October 1978, not September.

  • mark

    According to my records on Kevin Stead (and they only extend to three lines) he later played for Oxford City, and I can’t remember where I referenced that either!

  • Jamie

    The misinformation about Stead’s 2 appearances having been made in September 1978 comes from, of all sites, http://www.arsenal.com !

  • Andrew Ryan


    From what I’ve seen you can’t trust the arsenal.com site anymore than you can the official history book. They are full of more holes than an emmental.

    Only book I trust is anything by Ollier.

    Only site I look at is the Andy Kelly site: http://stats.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/

  • Andrew Ryan

    Apologies to this blog. The other Arsenal books I trust are those written by Tony, Andy and Mark.

  • Jamie

    It’s a shame about the Official History book because before sites such as this and the corrective delving of Tony, Andy and Mark as well as Fred Ollier’s statistics, I took the book as being gospel.
    Then again, back in ’87 I did know that they’d made a mistake in claiming that Alan Hudson’s last appearance was in the ’78 Cup Final

  • Jamie

    …additionally a mid-Nineties edition mentioned Arsenal’s astounding 7-0 away win against Standard Liege in the 1993-94 UEFA Cup.

  • Mike

    I watched Arsenal Reserves regularly, and still have the programmes (and of course the handbooks). Being desperate for a young striker they signed Kevin Stead. But he had little success up front and, when John Kosmina arrived from Australia late that season, Stead was converted to a right-back.

    Soon came the game you mention v Southampton (H), when he was one of three young players making their full debut – in his case because Pat Rice was needed in central midfield (the squad being almost non-existent) and John Devine injured too. You’d have imagined Southampton were the home team that day, but Young and Walford were rock-solid together and Arsenal sneaked a 1-0 win.

    Unfortunately for Kevin Stead, he looked a little bemused by it all. At the other extreme was Steve Gatting. Though nominally a skilful defender, he was belatedly given the chance to fill a gap in midfield and was an instant success.

  • Mike

    Jamie & Andrew,
    Regarding Arsenal.com …. Laurent Koscielny must be tickled by his profile if he’s ever looked. They claim his first club was called EN AVANT – which means ‘Previously’.

  • Borrovan

    Believe it or not that is not an error in Koscielny’s profile, his first senior club’s full name is indeed En Avant de Guingamp – however his first club was Brive

  • Sharon stead

    Kevin stead was a talented player , who represented his country at school boy level. He was approached at a young age by many top clubs , but decided to go to spurs . He not only excelled in football but also in athletics where he repreented his school and essex . He was an amazing man , husband and father .

  • Mark

    Sharon, you refer to Kevin in the past tense: is he sadly no longer with us?

  • adelaide

    According to the Spurs website, Kevin Stead died on 19th January 2016, aged 57. My condolences to Sharon and his family.

    I never saw him play but as a Spurs supporter I can remember him from the programmes as one of those players who scored bucket loads for the youth team, which does tend to happen quite a lot. Sometimes the attributes needed to do that are just not the same as those needed to make it at the top level. Sometimes it is injury or just downright bad luck. I was surprised when he appeared for Arsenal as a full back (I think), which was the position his brother Mickey played.

    Terry Neill took a number of Spurs players with him – Willie Young and Steve Walford spring to mind. I suppose they had the good fortune to be playing in front of the great Pat Jennings, the only player truly to unify both sides of North London!

  • Sharon Stead

    Sorry for late reply but no Kevin is no longer with us , he was a very talented footballer , just didn’t fit into the social life that football wanted in that era . A family man Very modest , and he didnt have a lot of confidence in himself . He was an amazing husband and father to his two daughters . Truly missed and loved .

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