Knight: Born winner Micky Kennedy really was a Portsmouth legend

Pompey's 1986-87  division two winning team celebrate their success. Left to right: Paul Mariner, Alan Knight, Kevin O'Callaghan, Vince Hilaire, Mick Kennedy and Mick Tait
Pompey's 1986-87 division two winning team celebrate their success. Left to right: Paul Mariner, Alan Knight, Kevin O'Callaghan, Vince Hilaire, Mick Kennedy and Mick Tait
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Former Pompey players have been paying tribute to Mick Kennedy, following his death at the age of 57. Here, Alan Knight completes the series of articles from the legendary midfielder’s team-mates.


People talk about legends but the outpouring for Micky shows that’s what he was.

I know he would’ve been touched by the affection shown for him since the news of his death, but I don’t think he knew the high esteem he was held in.

That’s certainly the case for supporters and particularly those from that era who were lucky enough to see him play.

There was a lot more to Micky than the hard man, midfield general reputation he had.

He epitomised the Pompey spirit of that side, but he wasn’t a bad player either. His passing ability was massively under-rated.

Bally put together a bunch of misfits, scoundrels and rascals and Micky was the glue who held it together.

He had the respect of some very, very strong characters in that dressing room.

Micky was the yardstick supporters measured players who came to this club by. They wanted a Micky Kennedy.

He always gave 110 per cent and expected the same from the players around him.

I remember when Micky went to Bradford.

We were going to play Southampton and were having a sneaky fag at the back of the bus, thinking no one could tell!

Then Micky dropped the news. We all thought he was taking the mick, but Bradford knew Manchester City were in for him as well.

Bradford has a few quid and offered £250,000 and it was accepted. Bally wasn’t happy about it.

But Mick knew it was probably his last game and was determined to give it a right go against our rivals.

We didn’t many away games that season, but we wanted to do it for him - and it was something special.

We worked hard on the pitch and played hard off it.

The Sportsman in Copnor was a pub he found in Copnor.

We used to go in there after training for a few pints and a game of bar billiards, while there was a Ladbrokes across the road.

Then we went to the Bird in the Hand in Lovedean when we moved out that way.

I know he loved (director) Jim Sloan and they’d sit at the back of the coach singing their songs.

You hate him if you were his opponent, but you wouldn’t want anyone else in your side

But he was quite a shy guy off the pitch. A nice, genuine person.

My abiding memories of Mick on the pitch was knowing he had no fear.

He feared no one and instilled a belief and winning mentality into the side.

You want that when you play with your mates and with Micky it really was win at all costs.

There were big characters in our dressing, but it was Micky who kept us together. He is going to be terribly missed.