It is with great sadness that we announce that Nick Kennedy has passed away.
Nick turned out in his Malvern shirt and spectacles for his first game in 1972. It was for the 4th XI captained by Hugh Smyth against Old Liobians and he scored two goals. After Liverpool Polytechnic, Nick went to London to do his Bar exams and only when he returned to Liverpool and started pupillage in 1977 did he start playing consistently for the Club.
He was selected once for the 1st XI but played mostly for the 3rds and 4ths before earning promotion to the Vets prior to ending his playing career in 2004 on reaching fifty.
One trip to Malvern involved Brian Capstick in his fast Ford Capri with Johnny Woods and Patrick Toosey as additional passengers. They decided to stop at Lichfield for breakfast and it was suggested Nick should take over the driving. The other three promptly fell asleep and Nick, who had never driven such a responsive car before, suddenly found himself doing a ‘ton’ which woke up a terrified Brian Capstick imploring him to slow down.
His most memorable goals came in a game for the Vets at Moor Lane with two identical volleys which bounced 20 yards in front of the goal and bobbled in. Simon Edwards claimed with irony they were the best volleyed goals he had ever seen.
Another 3rd XI game on a filthy day of wind and rain was this time against a Barry Burns Football Masters side which proceeded to retain possession with simple passing. The Ramblers spent most of the first half chasing shadows. Deciding to emulate their opponents Charlie Hayward gave a short pass to John Garnett who passed it to Nick who passed it to Charlie who then repeated his pass to John. At this point a normally cool and evenly tempered John Garnett, not exactly a graduate from the school of football technical science, exploded and said forcefully to Charlie “Will you **** off, I’ve just passed the ball twice and I don’t want it back again.”
Nick has proved to be a man of strong persuasion, often achieving the impossible. Grant Lazarus’s first club appointment followed from an invitation by Nick for a quiet drink. As he acknowledges, after eight pints of Guinness he was a team secretary. A few years later in the Coopers Arms in London the same Nick Kennedy applied the same subtle technique on Dave Clarke. This time ten pints of Guinness persuaded Dave to take over the 3rd XI captaincy. There was a third occasion, unbelievably involving Grant Lazarus again. Nick changed his tactics from Guinness to lager and the next day Grant woke to find himself in charge of raising funds for the new club house.
Serving the Club in a number of roles, Nick was Fixture Secretary 1980-87, Chairman 1992-97 and captain of the Vets 1999-2001. He became a worthy President in 2012, regarding the appointment “as very humbling and a great honour.” The photo shows President Willie Hall watching a Ramblers XI play a Schoolboys XI in December 2011, telling Nick what to expect when taking over the reins in 2012. Nick was a very popular and successful President with a fine sense of humour and a delightful person. It was a privilege to have known him.