Derek Kevan

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Derek Kevan
Personal information
Full name Derek Tennyson Kevan
Date of birth (1935-03-06)6 March 1935
Place of birth Ripon, England
Date of death 4 January 2013(2013-01-04) (aged 77)
Place of death Birmingham, England
Playing position Centre-forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1953 Bradford Park Avenue 15 (8)
1953–1963 West Bromwich Albion 262 (157)
1963 Chelsea 7 (1)
1963–1965 Manchester City 67 (48)
1965–1966 Crystal Palace 21 (5)
1966 Peterborough United 17 (2)
1966–1967 Luton Town 11 (4)
1967–1968 Stockport County 40 (10)
1968 Macclesfield Town 4 (4)
1968 Boston United 2 (0)
1968–1969 Stourbridge
1969–1970 Ancell's
National team
1957–1961 England 14 (8)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Derek Tennyson Kevan (6 March 1935 – 4 January 2013) was an English footballer. He spent the majority of his club career playing as a centre-forward for West Bromwich Albion, where he earned the nickname "The Tank".[1] In 1961–62 he was joint leading scorer in Division One – alongside Ray Crawford of Ipswich Town – with 33 goals.[2] He also won 14 caps for the England national football team, scoring a total of eight goals, including two in the 1958 FIFA World Cup Finals.

Club career[edit]

Kevan was born in Ripon. His father Albert, formerly an officer in the Royal Marines, worked as a pipe-layer.[3] Kevan started his career in his native Yorkshire with Bradford Park Avenue. Kevan was the first signing made by the former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Vic Buckingham after he had taken over from Jesse Carver as manager of West Bromwich Albion in February 1953. Signed for £2,000, Kevan completed his National Service in the Army before establishing himself full-time at The Hawthorns.

Coached by the former Baggies' former striker W.G. Richardson, Kevan had to wait until August 1955 to make his West Bromwich Albion League debut, a 2–0 home win over Everton in which he scored twice after being selected in place of the injured Ronnie Allen. He become a regular in the first team during the 1956–57 season, and his committed and powerful style of play earned him the nickname "The Tank" from the Albion supporters.

Kevan scored 20 goals in the 1956–57 season, which included a run to the FA Cup semi-finals where Albion lost to Aston Villa. He scored 80 goals over the next three seasons – 23 in 1957–58, 28 in 1958–59 and 29 in 1959–60, including five in a 6–2 home League win over Everton.[4] He added 18 in 1960–61 and then claimed 33 League goals the following season, when he finished joint top scorer in the First Division with Ipswich Town's Ray Crawford.[5] This remains the highest post-war League total by an Albion player.

In March 1963, after scoring 16 goals in 28 appearances that season, including four against Bolton Wanderers, Kevan was transferred to Chelsea for £50,000. In a decade at Albion, he had scored 173 goals in 291 games. His spell at Stamford Bridge under Tommy Docherty was short and unsuccessful, and in the close season of the same year he moved to Second Division Manchester City for £35,000.[6]

Kevan made his Manchester City debut on the opening day of the 1963–64 season against Portsmouth,[7] and scored his first goal for the club four days later, at Cardiff.[7] Following the arrival of Jimmy Murray from Wolves in November, he and Kevan formed a productive strike partnership.[8] From late November to the end of December, Kevan scored in eight consecutive matches. This included a run of six league games in which Murray and Kevan scored 21 goals between them.[7] Kevan's goals also helped Manchester City to the semi-finals of the League Cup, a run in which Kevan scored in every round.[7] Kevan finished the season as the club's leading goalscorer with 36 goals, 30 of them in the league.[7]

Kevan continued to score regularly in the 1964–65 season. His goals included a first half hat-trick at Preston North End.[8] However, his season was curtailed when he suffered a knee injury in a match at Derby County on 30 January.[6] This proved to be his last match for the club, and on 29 July 1965 he moved to Crystal Palace.[6] In total Kevan scored 56 goals in all competitions in 76 appearances for the Maine Road club.

Brief spells at several lower league clubs followed. After Crystal Palace, he joined Peterborough United in March 1966,[9] and then Luton Town. In March 1967 Kevan joined Stockport County, in an exchange deal involving Keith Allen.[10] At Stockport Kevan gained the first medal of his career, the Fourth Division title in 1967. After winding down his career in non-League football, he was the landlord of the Moss Rose pub, adjacent to Macclesfield Town's ground of the same name.[6] He also worked as a delivery driver before returning to The Hawthorns in 1983 to work as a lottery agent as well as playing for the Albion All Stars charity team, which he later managed.[citation needed]

Kevan died on 4 January 2013 aged 77,[11] leaving a wife, Connie.[12] In tribute to Kevan, West Bromwich Albion players wore black armbands for their FA Cup match the day after his death.[13]

International career[edit]

Kevan scored eight goals in 14 appearances for England. He scored on his debut against Scotland at Wembley in a 2–1 win in April 1957, and netted twice in the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden, against the Soviet Union and Austria. His last England appearance came against Mexico in 1961.[14] He also gained under-23 honours and netted a hat-trick for the Football League against the Scottish League in 1958.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Our Favourite Players – Final List
  2. ^ "English League Leading Goalscorers 1889–2007". RSSSF. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007. 
  3. ^ Wright, Simon (2006). West Brom's Cult Heroes. Know the Score. p. 115. ISBN 1-905449-02-X. 
  4. ^ John Scott (20 March 1960). "Burnley Coming Up on the Outside". The Observer. p. 32. 
  5. ^ Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-214-8. 
  6. ^ a b c d Penney, Ian (1995). The Maine Road Encyclopedia. Edinburgh: Mainstream. pp. 108–9. ISBN 1-85158-710-1. 
  7. ^ a b c d e James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. p. 394. ISBN 1-85983-512-0. 
  8. ^ a b Ward, Andrew (1984). The Manchester City Story. Derby: Breedon. p. 56. ISBN 0-907969-05-4. 
  9. ^ "Kevan signs for Peterborough". The Guardian. 3 March 1966. p. 16. 
  10. ^ "Dawson signs for Bury". The Guardian. 10 March 1967. p. 6. 
  11. ^ "West Bromwich Albion legend Derek Kevan dies, aged 77". BBC Sport. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "West Brom legend Derek Kevan dies aged 77". Express and Star. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tributes to West Bromwich Albion's Derek Kevan". Birmingham Mail. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Payne, Mike (1993). England: The Complete Post-War Record'. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1-873626-39-8. 
  15. ^ "Wed 26 Mar 1958 English Football League 4 SFL 1". www.londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 

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