ay Kennedy, the former Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder, has died aged 70.
While at Liverpool, Kennedy won three European Cups and five league titles, having joined the Arsenal club in 1974.
He was part of the famed Gunners team which won the league a double in the FA Cup in 1971. Kennedy scored the winner over bitter rivals Tottenham in a 1-0 victory on the last day of the season, so that Arsenal won the title by just a single point.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, and seven years later a testimonial match between Liverpool and Arsenal took place.
Liverpool paid tribute to Kennedy with a statement on their website: “Everyone’s thoughts at Liverpool FC are with Ray’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.”
Arsenal posted on Twitter: “Everyone at Arsenal is very saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Kennedy.
One of the giants of 71, Ray will be sadly missed by his friends, family and everyone at the club. Rest in peace Ray.
Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton also offered their condolences, with the two teams scheduled to play in the 239th derby on Wednesday night at Goodison Park.
The club said: “The hearts of everyone at Everton Football Club are with the family and friends of Ray Kennedy following the very sad news of his passing.”
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge paid tribute to Kennedy by tweeting: “Yet another magnificent Ex LFC star has passed away.
“Ray Kennedy, what a player and what a lovely guy who suffered so much from Parkinson’s disease for most of his life. He will certainly never walk alone. RIP Ray ynwa.
Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson tweeted: “Sad news with the passing of Ray, what a great player and such a wonderful RIP YNWA teammate.”
Ronnie Whelan described his former team-mate as “an absolute legend at both Arsenal and Liverpool”, adding on Twitter: “I learned so much watching him play. RIP Ray.
Kennedy scored three goals for England, his first on his debut against Wales in March 1976.
A tweet from the national team account read: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Kennedy at the age of 70. Ray won 17 caps for the ThreeLions between 1976 and 1980, scoring three times.
“All our thoughts are with his family, friends and former clubs. “
Parkinson UK chief executive Caroline Rassell said in a statement: “Most young boys dream of becoming footballers. Ray not only lived this dream, but it was also incredibly successful.
“Ray has lived with Parkinson’s disease for a long time. He spoke honestly about the challenges he faced, including managing some of the lesser known symptoms like hallucinations.
“Many people with the disease feel the need to hide their diagnosis, but Ray will have inspired so many to speak openly about their own life with Parkinson’s disease. The role he played in raising awareness about the disease, just like his football skills, will not be forgotten.
“Our hearts are with his family at this sad time.”
PA Sport Supplementary Reports.