Continuing our where are they now series, today we look at the life and career of the man once the most expensive teenage footballer in British history, ex Liverpool winger Mark Kennedy.
Making his debut for Millwall at only 16 years old Mark Kennedy would rise to prominence when he scored a thunderous goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup knocking them out at only the third round stage.
Only a couple of months later he would move to Liverpool for a then record £1.5m (potentially rising to £2.3M), signed by Roy Evans he was looked as not only one for the future but a player who could come into the team and perform when needed.
Unfortunately for him he did not live the right life off the pitch and his performance on it was being affected, in three seasons at Anfield he only ever managed 18 appearances without scoring a solitary goal, he was moved on to Wimbeldon in 1998 for £1.5m, however in a recent interview with Off The Ball Kennedy spoke of his regret at how the Liverpool move turned out.
“I didn’t play, I couldn’t get into the team for various different reasons. I’m quite open [about it]. I was living my life completely wrong,”
“I had an amazing time. I just basically partied for three years and I’m quite open about that
so now I’ve left Liverpool about five years – then suddenly it hit me that ‘You had all that and you’ve lost it,’
After a single season with the Dons he was on the move again, this time to Manchester City where he started to get some first team football and started to get a regular place in the Republic of Ireland squad, but again his partying ways were to get him in trouble as he and another ex Red Phill Babb were sent home from the Irish squad after a drunken night out in Dublin.
He moved to Wolves in 2001 where he would have his most consistent spell as a footballer both in regards performances and stability, he spent 5 seasons in total with Wolves playing over 160 times before moving on to Crystal Palace and later Cardiff City & Ipswich Town.
So where is he now ?
After his retirement Kennedy followed his brothers footsteps into coaching (Brendan is the Ireland Under 18s and 19s Goalkeeper coach and is Manager of Dunboyne AFC). He joined the Ipswich coaching staff in 2013 & managed their u21 side for a short spell before moving on to one of his former clubs Manchester City where was a youth coach, after being released by City he joined Sol Campbell’s backroom team at Macclesfield United, after Campbell left Kennedy was appointed head coach