Libya was in the news along with its leader Muammar Gaddafi as he presided over a parade of Soviet military hardware in Tripoli. The show, including 200 new tanks, was intended to mark the fifth anniversary of the coup that had given Gadaffi his power.
In football it was a big week for Ray Kennedy, Reds legend in the making. The former Arsenal centre-forward was now a Liverpool player and on the last day of August he made his debut in place of the injured John Toshack, scoring the opener in a 3-0 win away to Chelsea. Phil Boersma bagged the other two goals at Stamford Bridge that day.
Kennedy had signed the previous month but that news almost went unnoticed because of another announcement made by the club that day. Merseyside was shaken as Bill Shankly’s shock retirement was announced by the club. Shanks made certain he gave Kennedy a glowing reference before he left, saying: “There’s no doubt Kennedy will do a good job for Liverpool. He’s big, brave and strong. His signing means that we now have the greatest strength in depth that we have ever had. He’ll cause plenty of trouble to defences, he fights all the way and he was at the top of my list of my wanted men. Maybe it will be said that one of the last things I did at this club was a to sign a great new player.”
Kennedy also scored in his next game, his home debut, but by the end of that first season his haul was 5 goals in 25 league appearances. Toshack’s return to fitness meant Kennedy’s appearances were limited and his goal record wasn’t as good as might have been expected for a centre-forward.
It was in the winter of the following season that Bob Paisley switched him to the left side of midfield, a switch that Kennedy grasped with both hands, making the new position his own and picking up three European Cup winners’ medals in the process as well as receiving recognition by his country with his first caps for England. He made his last appearance for Liverpool at the end of 1981, having played just under 400 games for the club. He would later be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the early stages of which had – unknown to him or anyone at the club – been present during his playing days at Anfield.
Ray remains a legend in the eyes of both Liverpool and Arsenal fans, as was shown to the world in 2009 when both sets of fans held up a mosaic ahead of a clash at Anfield – the Arsenal fans holding up the number 10 they remember him for, Liverpool fans the number 5 he made his own as he helped Bob conquer Europe.