Mick Quinn: Mick Kennedy was the glue which held Bally’s Portsmouth Gremlins together

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Former Pompey players have been paying tribute to Mick Kennedy, following his death at the age of 57. Here, in the first of a series of articles, legendary striker Mick Quinn gives his memories of the great midfielder.

My recollection of Mick is that he was the glue that held that promotion team together.

Legendary Pompey striker Mick Quinn has paid tribute to his friend and team-mate Mick Kennedy following his death.

Legendary Pompey striker Mick Quinn has paid tribute to his friend and team-mate Mick Kennedy following his death.

He was the skipper and Bally would have a go at him all the time - to have a go at us. He was the link between the players and Bally in that team.

Mick played hard and lived hard - and he was very, very hard.

I always think he didn’t get the credit he deserved as a footballer, though.

Bally often used him as a dog in games.

I remember playing Spurs in the old first division and Bally told him not to let Glenn Hoddle out of his sight for a second.

He said if he goes to the toilet at half-time follow him there as well!

Hoddle was their main man so Mick was told to upset him, kick him and do everything he could to stop him.

Mick would get that kind of job in a lot of the big games, but he was better footballer than that.

He had a good first touch, range of passing and a good engine. He was a hard, hard man but he was a good footballer as well.

When I first moved to Portsmouth, he said to stay with him and his missus instead of a hotel.

I got to know Mick really well and off the pitch then and he was a gentleman, a top man.

I always remember (legendary Pompey writer) Mick Neasom used to have a fag with him around the back of the training ground at the end of sessions! Mick got on with everyone, though. What a top fella he was.

That team could have easily gone off the rails, but Mick really held us together.

There were strong personalities with a lot of vices, but he was instrumental in keeping us on track on behalf of Bally.

We did have a drinking culture back then - and it wasn’t just a few of us! We all had a strong social life.

Mick introduced me to the social scene of Waterlooville, so he had a lot to answer for!

It was great to see him put in the Pompey Hall of Fame last year, too, and that was richly deserved.

I’ve been upset and thinking back to those days a lot since I heard the news of his death.

He was so important to that promotion team. He was the man who kept us together and made us the success we were.