Tony Kay

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Tony Kay
Personal information
Full name Anthony Herbert Kay
Date of birth (1937-05-13) 13 May 1937 (age 82)
Place of birth Sheffield, England
Playing position Left half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1954–1962 Sheffield Wednesday 179 (10)
1962–1964 Everton 57 (4)
National team
1963 England 1 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Anthony Herbert Kay (born 13 May 1937 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire)[1] is an English former footballer who became notorious after being banned from the professional game for life following the British betting scandal of 1964.

Born in Sheffield, Kay played for Sheffield Wednesday before becoming Britain's most expensive footballer when transferred to Everton for £60,000 in 1962. Kay was capped once for England, scoring a goal in his debut match against Switzerland which England won by 8 goals to 1 in Basle.

Playing career[edit]

A left-sided wing-half, Kay started his career with hometown club Sheffield Wednesday. He transferred to Everton in December 1962, signed by his former manager Harry Catterick, and soon became the team captain. Everton were a work in progress under the ownership of the Littlewoods owner Sir John Moores and had earned the tag "The Mersey Millionaires". Kay was an important part of Catterick's evolving Everton side and the following May they were crowned League Champions for the first time since 1938–39 season.

Conviction for fraud[edit]

In 1964, the Sunday People newspaper broke the story that Kay, along with fellow Sheffield Wednesday players David Layne and Peter Swan, through the instigation of former Everton player Jimmy Gauld, had bet on their side to lose a match in December 1962 against Ipswich Town.[2] The three were convicted of conspiracy to defraud, Kay on the basis of a taped conversation, one of the first times such evidence was admitted in an English court.[2] Kay was fined £150 and sentenced to four months imprisonment.[2] On his release, after serving ten weeks, he was banned from football for life by the Football Association though the ban was rescinded seven years later.[citation needed] Kay claims subsequently to have been summoned to London to explain the use of taped evidence to the Kray twins.[2]

Post-football life[edit]

Kay was 28 years old when released from prison. He never returned to the professional game, but did play some amateur football. He spent twelve years in Spain avoiding arrest for selling a counterfeit diamond.[2] On his return to the UK Kay was fined £400 and in later years he worked as a groundsman in south east London.[3]

Upon retirement, Kay returned to the North West to settle back on Merseyside. A few months short of 40 years since his transfer from Sheffield Wednesday in 1962, Tony Kay was once again present on the pitch at Goodison Park among a group of 100 Everton Legends, as the club celebrated a record 100 seasons of top flight football at the start of the 2002–03 campaign. He received a standing ovation from the crowd.[2]


Tony Kay is portrayed by Jason Isaacs in the 1997 TV film The Fix, directed by Paul Greengrass, which tells the story of the scandal which ended his career. The story was also dramatised in the November 2009 BBC Radio 4 play The Tony Kay Scandal by Michael McLean, which included excerpts from a 2009 interview with Kay.[4]


  1. ^ Betts, Graham (2006). England: Player by player. Green Umbrella Publishing. p. 145. ISBN 1-905009-63-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jackson, Jamie (4 July 2004). "Triumph and despair". Observer Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  3. ^ Broadbent, Rick (22 July 2006). "Swan still reduced to tears by the fix that came unstuck". The Times. London.
  4. ^

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