An occasional series of articles in which we exhume some of the scariest monsters this side of Kinning Park. Number 94 was Stewart Kennedy. Don’t read alone…
Following some hugely successful television appearances playing an assortment of scary monsters in such critically acclaimed programmes as ‘Stingray’, ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ and ‘Lost in Space’, Stewart Kennedy was discovered by an Ibrox talent scout in the early Seventies playing for Stenhousemuir. Stenny were offered £10,000, a hand was instantly bitten off and Kennedy was whisked away at midnight via the Borgo Pass to take up his position between the sticks at the Death Star.
At the time he was supposed to be back-up to beanpole comedy ‘keeper Peter McCloy but it wasn’t too long before he was replacing McCloy following one blooper too many from the Girvan Shitehouse. It was an opportunity he grabbed with both hands. Then he fumbled it, picked it up at the second attempt and promptly booted it as far down the pitch as he could.
With a head like a miscast from a jelly mould and a haisrstyle that would make even a German barber cringe, he went on to make over a hundred appearances in the Rangers first team (most of them grotesque) mainly because nobody dared to tell him he was dropped.
The 1975 vintage of the Laptop Loyal had a habit of lobbying for their favourite Rangers players (i.e. all of them) to be picked for the national team, so it was no surprise when Kennedy embarked on an international career. Just to show that Scotland managers do have a sense of humour, the Kennedy features were exposed to an unsuspecting Live Eurovision audience during the Home International series of 1975.
In one of the most gruesome spectacles ever witnessed outside the studios of Hammer Films, Scotland were thrashed 5:1 by an unbearably smug England at Wembley.
The English ran riot and in the first half they were scoring goals that would make a primary school ‘keeper blush. Commentator Brian Moore could barely control his obvious mirth each time the ball flew into the net as Kennedy gyrated and twirled over and under it with the comedy timing of Buster Beaton. Kennedy was shown to the watching audience of millions pulling horrific grimaces (aka his normal expression) revealed in spine-twisting close-up after every goal, which was pretty frequently during that particular debacle.
As the fifth (or was it the fourth?) sailed into the rigging Kennedy crashed into one of the uprights in yet another hilarious attempt at a save, necessitating prolonged treatment from an obviously reluctant physio. The ITV cameraman who was sent to do the close-ups of the prostrate ‘keeper had to retire shortly afterwards to a sanitorium in the Swiss Alps where he still resides to this day, permanantly scared of the dark and continually muttering, “The horror… the horror”.
Just when I’d finally removed the horror of his face you drag it back in, matron matron more drugs please!
As my granny used to say: fell oot the ugly tree… and smacked his face on every branch on the way doon.