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Thread: ***Ray Of Hope Appeal***

  1. #1
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    Default ***Ray Of Hope Appeal***

    Over the last few months, the idea for a Ray Kennedy fund raising appeal has gathered momentum. It's taken a significant amount of time and effort to get everything lined up but we're now ready to hit the "go" button and launch the appeal properly. This post is by way of introduction to the campaign, explaining who we are, and outlining our aims and projects. This message is getting posted on a number of Liverpool and Arsenal message boards. Where possible, we would be grateful if the board moderators could make this a "sticky" at the top so that as many people read this as possible.

    We are hoping both that Liverpool and Arsenal fans support the appeal - although it's Liverpool fans who have driven the appeal up to this point, we have had an extremely positive reception from Arsenal websites and Arsenal FC, both of whom are keen to be involved. This certainly isn't intended to be a partisan exercise, and is not generic to one group of fans or website or forum - this is about Ray and no-one else. Instead, we'd respectfully ask that you take the time to read this post and if you'd like to help, please do. Ten minutes of your time or 10 quid of your money for the man who scored the crucial goal at Munich in 81 or the title winner at White Hart Lane as part of a double season isn't too much to ask.

    The appeal started out of a chance conversation between our very own Karl Coppack and Ray Kennedy's doctor just under two years ago. Ray is Karl's all-time favourite Red and it has always vexed Karl that there had been no update on Ray's condition since the publication of his autobiography 15-odd years previous. Karl emailed the good doctor just asking how Ray was, not really expecting a reply. He certainly didn't expect Ray to give him a call, but that's what happened. Over the next few months, Karl stayed in touch with Ray, and it transpired that Ray isn't keeping too well at all. We wish to respect Ray's privacy, and as a result don't want to give chapter and verse on his condition. Parkinsons Disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, characterised by muscle rigidity, tremor, and in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement. Doubly sad when it afflicts a once great athlete. We'll leave it there.

    What are our targets? Well, simply as much money for Ray as we can raise within the next 12 months. Sorry to be blunt, but Ray needs financial help to get by. He has not had any significant income since his testimonial in 1991 and had to sell his valued medals in 1993. Your donations will help make Ray's day to day life as comfortable as possible, and will assist with his domestic, financial and medical needs. We have been granted permission by the Parkinson's disease society to fund raise under their banner (this is for, amongst other things, legal and financial purposes). This means that 10% of all monies raised will go to the PDS, with the balance being held on trust for Ray.

    The strands of the appeal agreed to date are as follows:

    - Paypal account set up for online donations – please pay all donations to rayofhopeappeal@hotmail.co.uk. Alternatively, please pay direct contributions to the Ray of Hope Appeal c/o HSBC account 21817299 sort-code 40-03-27. Paying direct or doing a bank transfer will avoid paypal commission. We will be maintaining an email circulation list to keep everyone updated on a quarterly basis as to the funds held.

    - Ray of Hope Appeal launch night at Anfield after the Middlesbrough game on February 23rd, supported by Reclaim the Kop. This will take place in one of the suites in the Centenary Stand, and will include live music, ex-players, an auction and a raffle. This promises to be a great evening so please keep an eye on www.raotl.co.uk for details of how to purchase tickets in the next few weeks.

    - Collecton buckets at Anfield pubs. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign have kindly offered to provide us with their closed collection buckets which will be distributed at pubs around the ground at a match in the next few months. If you see one of these buckets before the match, please have one less pint or don't buy the programme, and instead throw a few quid in.

    - 92 ground car dash around the Emirates game in April. This does what it says on the tin. We are writing to every club in the football league requesting support for Ray, and will be touring each ground in the space of 5 days to hopefully collect donations and memorabilia which we can then auction off to help Ray in the following months and through to next Christmas. The intention is to support the tour with local newspaper coverage and sponsorship via the justgiving.com site. Again, more to follow over the next few months.

    - Tales from the Travelling Kop. Being released to coincide with the official start of Liverpool's coronation as European Captial of Culture, Tales From The Travelling Kop is a compilation of supporters' experiences at Liverpool away games over the past four decades. Available from the Walton Breck Road website on Saturday 12th January 2008 with all proceeds from the sale of the book going to the Parkinson's Disease Society and the Ray of Hope Appeal, set up to help former Red Ray Kennedy who is battling Parkinson's. Tales From The Travelling Kop costs £18 and is a must for any Red. http://www.lulu.com/content/1350480

    - Liverpool/Arsenal fanzine game on the day of the Emirates match in April.

    - End of season fundraiser at the Olympia after the Man City game on the 2nd May. The intention is that this is to be purely a fans' night. Again, please keep an eye on the boards for details of how to purchase tickets in the next few months.

    Many thanks to everyone who has helped so far, especially the Liverpool New York Supporters Club (for their generous donation), Matt Richards (for designing the appeal logo), RTK, and the Parkinsons Disease Society and Hillsborough Justice Campaign for their support and assistance with the logistics of it all.

    Finally – one housekeeping point – as we are fund raising under the Parkinsons Disease Society's banner, any events must be done with our endorsement. If people want to help in their own way (for example, a supporter's club organising something), then that is great – but please, please contact us and keep us in the loop before you start anything up or post anything in relation to the campaign elsewhere – everything needs to go through us centrally.

    We welcome all comments, enquiries, suggestions and feedback to rayofhopeappeal@hotmail.co.uk.

    Thank you

    The Ray of Hope Appeal
    Underneath the Floodlights, down in Dussledorf

  2. #2
    Melwood 1st Team
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    3 -4 days since launch of the paypal account and over 560 pounds donated - keep up the good work...

    just bumping the appeal up

    That's just the paypal account.. will check and find out how much altogether - remember this is before all the events take place !
    Underneath the Floodlights, down in Dussledorf

  3. #3
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    You guys were given a mention in today's Liverpool Daily Post;

    http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...4375-20405788/

  4. #4
    Kop Hero birkenheadred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    You guys were given a mention in today's Liverpool Daily Post;

    http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...4375-20405788/
    Thats fantastic testement to all in NEW YORK for the greas support shown to Ray kennedy..and for the fantastic organisational skill of the guy's over this side of the pond...its great to read about something positive connected to LFC
    "I will leave no stone unturned in my quest, that quest will be "RENTLESS" in putting liverpool back on the map as a successful football club; "BRENDAN RODGERS".

  5. #5
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    Posted by Zimbo on EST 1892.

    It is the second leg of the 1981 European Cup semi-final. The place, Munich’s imposing Olympic Stadium. With just seven minutes of a bruising contest remaining neither Liverpool nor Bayern have been able to construct the moment of magic that such occasions demand, the stroke of genius that catapults its creator into immortality and cements a legacy that any opportunistic politician could only dream of.

    The reality is that Bayern look the most likely winners if, as seems inevitable, the match is to go to extra time. Already missing half of their regular back four, Liverpool have been forced to endure the early loss of talismanic genius Kenny Dalglish, kicked out of the tie within the first ten minutes, and have seen his replacement, rookie winger Howard Gayle, run himself into the ground before being similarly replaced. Add to this the fact that Graeme Souness and David Johnson are carrying injuries that have reduced them to little more than passenger status and you can perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the pre-match taunts of Bayern general Paul Breitner are about to be borne out.

    With a sense of desperation growing amongst the travelling Red army, a heavily-limping Johnson collects the ball on the right touchline and surveys his options. A low cross aimed roughly in the area of the penalty spot seems speculative at best, until a burly white-shirted figure appears, unnoticed by all, defenders and onlookers alike. With an air of casualness that belies the importance of the occasion, the ball is chested down and unerringly dispatched, right-footed, into the corner of the Bayern net. Despite the inconvenience of a last-gasp German equaliser it’s enough to send Liverpool into their third European Cup Final. It’s as if the scorer felt the urgent hand of destiny pressing on his shoulder, shook it warmly and took it to his local for a pint of brown and a bag of dry roasted.

    That, my friends, was typical of Ray Kennedy.


    It’s a sobering thought that, unless you’re over 30, it’s unlikely that you’ll have witnessed Ray Kennedy perform in a Liverpool shirt. It makes me think of my Dad, constantly drilling into me the fact that Billy Liddell was the greatest player he’d ever seen, when all I wanted to do was play on my Space Hopper or sort out the ‘swaps’ from my Argentina ’78 football sticker collection. But, just as I was always secretly grateful to my Dad for widening my football education, so it now falls to me to keep my sons aware of our club’s history and its glittering supporting cast.

    And few have glittered more than Ray.

    Having been an integral part of Arsenal’s double-winning team in 1971, it was something of a surprise when Ray Kennedy, then still 23 years old, was signed by Liverpool in 1974. It was, however, even more of a surprise when the man who signed him, the great Bill Shankly, announced his resignation on the same day. It fell to Shankly’s successor, Bob Paisley, to nurture and direct Kennedy’s subsequent career. In one of the most startling examples of footballing insight and intuition, Paisley converted the lumbering, slightly clumsy centre-forward into a left-sided midfielder of such poise, balance, vision and artistry that he was to become, in Bob’s own words, “...simply one of the best footballers I’ve ever seen”. From someone who had been involved in the game since the 1930’s and had seen all of the game’s greatest exponents this was a fitting tribute.

    Kennedy was that rarest of wide players in that he could never be classed as a winger yet he offered his team genuine width and unmatched balance. His background as a striker ensured that he was instinctively aware of the best positions to take up in the opposition penalty area and his ability to ghost in unnoticed at the far post to finish off another Liverpool attack became a familiar sight in the second half of the 1970’s. Strong in the air, with a proverbial can-opener of a left foot and a shot of immense power, it’d be folly to estimate his worth in today’s inflated transfer market. But given the amount paid for Michael Carrick, a conservative estimate at Kennedy’s value would surely start at around £30 million, folly or not.

    As his record of 72 goals in 393 games for Liverpool suggests, Ray never really lost his goal-scoring instinct. Many of these came in matches of real significance, such as the aforementioned winner against Bayern Munich. I can still picture his 25 yard rocket in the 1976 UEFA Cup Final against FC Brugges which was the first step to overturning a 2-0 deficit; the decisive third against Wolves which won us the title the same year; the final goal in the 3-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton in 1977; the vital strike in the historic tie with St. Etienne, prior to setting up Fairclough’s legendary winner.

    Kennedy went on to become a member of arguably the greatest midfield quartet ever to grace this country’s football pitches. Souness, McDermott, Case and Kennedy had everything you could ever ask from your engine room, and they helped Liverpool take their domination of the domestic game to new levels.

    By the early ‘80’s it was clear that Ray Kennedy’s powers were on the wane. But the rapidity of his decline took everyone, including Ray himself, by surprise. Just nine months after that memorable night in Munich, and after losing his place in the Liverpool team to the emerging Ronnie Whelan, he was signed by former team-mate John Toshack, who had guided Swansea towards the top of the First Division. But theirs was not to be a happy marriage, with Toshack eventually accusing Kennedy of not trying on the pitch after a series of lacklustre displays. The truth was infinitely more distressing. For Ray Kennedy was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the same affliction that would also fell Muhammad Ali, although neither he nor anyone else was yet aware of it. The reality was that he had probably been affected by Parkinson’s for at least five years, putting his achievements at the heart of the Liverpool machine into startling perspective.

    Before reaching his 33rd birthday Kennedy’s physical deterioration forced him to retire; it was a further two years before his condition was diagnosed. A disease that would have a devastating impact for the average person acquired tragic proportions when the victim was a professional athlete, whose health and fitness was his very lifeblood. The fall-out for Ray has been shattering. His personal life has been torn apart, he is confined to his home on an almost permanent basis, he has been forced to sell his entire medal collection in order to fund the treatment and care he requires, and his condition, sadly, continues to worsen. An emotional benefit match between Liverpool and Arsenal took place in 1991, but the proceeds raised have long since been accounted for and there has been little mention of Ray Kennedy in the public domain in the last 15 years.

    Now maybe I’m being a typical sentimental Scouser but wouldn’t it be a fitting gesture, in light of Liverpool’s new-found financial security, for the new owners to offer some form of support for one of its fallen legends? If nothing else, and in purely cynical terms, it would certainly be an effective PR exercise. And if anyone deserves to benefit from Liverpool’s enhanced status as a footballing super-power then surely it’s someone who had such a significant role to play in laying the foundations of its continued success? Someone who could justifiably be described as the ‘Player of the ‘70s’? Someone who I’m proud to say I saw at the peak of his thrilling powers?

    The last word, as ever, should go to Shanks, the man responsible for bringing Ray to Anfield. When asked in later years for his opinion of his final signing, the great man had no doubts: “Ray Kennedy is some player.” And you know what? As always, he was right.

  6. #6
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    Ray Kennedy fund raising night 23rd February 2008

    RAOTL/RTK are organising a fund raising event to be held in a suite at Anfield after the 'Boro game on 23rd February 2008.

    We are finalising the evening's entertainment, but hope to get some local musicians, ex-players and media 'celebs' along to help us raise cash for Ray who has fallen upon some particularly hard financial times and is suffering from a terrible illness.

    There'll be usual shenanigans, a raffle, entertainment, drinking and singing: so please support the event and help out one of Liverpool FC's greatest ever players.

    Ray needs us, and he was there for us when we needed him.

    Tickets are £10.00 and are available from the HJC shop opposite the Albert, The shop is open Monday to Friday 10.00 till 14.00, best ring 0151 260 5262 before you set off just to make sure it's open.

    Or contact John Mackin direct on jsmack77@hotmail.com

    Please feel free to post these details on any other Liverpool site that you may visit.

    Thank you.
    The Road End United will never be defeated.

  7. #7
    Melwood Apprentice
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    No more are available at the HJC shop, 150 now sold, if any other people are interested in obtaining tickets I'd suggest you contact John Mackin at

    jsmack77@hotmail.com

    Thank you for your support.
    The Road End United will never be defeated.

  8. #8
    Melwood 1st Team
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    It's now sold out - 300 sold...

    Gonna be a good night next saturday !

    Plenty of money to be raised.

    Underneath the Floodlights, down in Dussledorf

  9. #9
    Kop Hero birkenheadred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hindsy View Post
    It's now sold out - 300 sold...

    Gonna be a good night next saturday !

    Plenty of money to be raised.

    Fantistic hindsy..i wish everyone concerned a fantstic night and we all know how generous everone has been and i going to be for Ray...well done to all
    "I will leave no stone unturned in my quest, that quest will be "RENTLESS" in putting liverpool back on the map as a successful football club; "BRENDAN RODGERS".

  10. #10
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    Can i just say - that with the ticket sales from the night.... we've raised roughly about 11,000 pounds so far ...

    we've got a bucket collection planned before the game against Boro, and then we've actually got plenty of stuff to auction on the night - I shall keep you up to date on how much raised and what we're spending it on for Ray !

    and when it's all done at Anfield - we have to do the 92 club trip to do in April !!
    there's also a fund raiser at the Olympia in Liverpool on May 2nd ?
    and the Inter forum match with Arsenal fans before the game at the Emirates and Arsenal are raising funds too - so hopefully we'll have a large sum at the end of it all !



    thank you once again - keep up the fund raising..
    Underneath the Floodlights, down in Dussledorf

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