Mark Kennedy (footballer)
|Full name||Mark John Kennedy|
|Date of birth||15 May 1976|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Republic of Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Left back/Left winger|
|Manchester City (academy coach)|
|1998||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||8||(2)|
|1992||Republic of Ireland U17||1||(0)|
|1994–1996||Republic of Ireland U21||4||(4)|
|1995–2002||Republic of Ireland||34||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
As a player he was a left back and left winger from 1992 to 2012. He notably featured in the Premier League with Liverpool, Wimbledon, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, as well as in the Football League for Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town. He has been capped 34 times by Ireland, scoring 4 goals.
Kennedy began his professional career at Millwall, making his senior debut on 24 April 1993 in a 1–0 win over Charlton, when still only 16. He developed over his three-year stay at The Old Den, and broke into the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side. He particularly gained attention for a powerful run and goal at Highbury that eliminated Arsenal from the FA Cup in 1995.
He eventually left to join Liverpool in March 1995 for an initial £1.5 million fee (potentially rising to £2.3 m), making him then the most expensive teenage footballer in British history. However, opportunities at Anfield were scarce, and he managed just 18 appearances over three seasons, which also saw him loaned to Queens Park Rangers to gain first team action. He found a permanent route to regular football when he moved back to the capital with Wimbledon in 1998, for £1.75 million, but he stayed for just one season with the "Dons", scoring once against Bolton in the League Cup, before returning to the north, this time to Manchester City, for £1.6 million, in 1999.
He won promotion to the Premier League with Manchester City in his first season, but the following year saw the club relegated and manager Joe Royle sacked. When Kevin Keegan took the reins, he sought to rebuild the squad and decided Kennedy was not part of his plans, selling him to fellow second flight club Wolverhampton Wanderers for £2 million.
He looked set for another promotion in his first season at Molineux, but a groin tear ruled him out of the run-in and the team dropped into the play-off zone in his absence, where they lost to Norwich. However, the following season saw them achieve the aim of promotion, with Kennedy scoring the opening goal in their 3–0 Division One Play-off final win over Sheffield United. The Midlands club were unable to remain in the top flight beyond a solitary season though, and soon found themselves with a new manager, with Glenn Hoddle replacing Dave Jones in late 2004. Hoddle preferred to play Kennedy in a more restrained left midfield role, rather than his original position on the wing. With Hoddle departing in Summer 2006, so did Kennedy, after refusing the terms of a reduced contract, he moved back to Selhurst Park on a free transfer to play under new manager Peter Taylor at Crystal Palace.
Kennedy spent the majority of the 2006–07 season in Palace's first team line-up, but largely disappointed fans, despite scoring against Derby County. Early in the following season Taylor was replaced by Neil Warnock, and Kennedy hardly featured for the Eagles after that, before being released at the end of that campaign.
He was signed by his former Wolves manager Dave Jones at Cardiff City on 10 July 2008. With club stalwart Joe Ledley cemented in the left midfield role, Kennedy's started the season at left-back in place of the injured Tony Capaldi but an injury to Kennedy himself meant he missed around half of the opening two months. However following his return, he remained as first choice left back for the majority of the season. The following season, he started the opening game of the season but injury meant he did not feature again until September during a 1–0 loss to Newcastle United where he remained on the bench, but he started the next game at Reading. He made his 400th Career Club start against Sheffield Wednesday on 26 September 2009. He made his 50th League Cardiff appearance on 5 December 2009, coming on as a substitute for injured Anthony Gerrard in a 1–0 win over Preston North End.
On 27 July 2010, Kennedy joined Ipswich Town, managed by his former international team-mate Roy Keane, for a fee of £75,000. Kennedy retired at the culmination of the 2011/2012 season and joined the Ipswich Town coaching staff. on 12 August 2013, he managed the Ipswich town under-21 squad during their pre-season friendly against Chippenham Town
Kennedy has 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring four times. He made his international debut on 6 September 1995 in a 3–1 defeat in Austria, but never established himself as a regular player over seven years involved with the national side.
- "List of Players under Written Contract Whose Registrations have been Cancelled by Mutual Consent Between 01/05/2012 and 31/05/2012". The Football Association. Retrieved 19 October 2013.[dead link]
- Haylett, Trevor (18 January 1995). "Millwall deepen Arsenal's misery". London: The Independent. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- Hadfield, Dave (10 November 1998). "Kennedy creativity destroys Bolton". London: The Independent. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- Mercer, Nathan (29 April 2007). "Crystal Palace 2–0 Derby". BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Cardiff sign Kennedy from Palace" BBC Sport Retrieved on 1 June 2009
- "Cardiff 1–0 PNE" BBC Sport Retrieved on 5 December 2009
- "Mark Kennedy completes Ipswich move". WalesOnline. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Mark Kennedy profile" LFChistory.net Retrieved on 19 October 2013
- "Ireland record international players" rsssf.com Retrieved on 1 June 2009