Twenty years have now passed since the greatest period of European dominance by any English football club came to an end. Between 1977 and 1984, Liverpool won the European Cup an unprecedented four times – and it was an unlikely figure that dominated the headlines for the last two of those victories – left-back Alan Kennedy – nicknamed ‘Barney’ by fans after The Flintstones character due to his straightforward, no-frills approach to the game.
Born in 1954, Kennedy came through the ranks at Newcastle United.
In 1978, manager Liverpool Bob Paisley bought Kennedy from Newcastle. He slotted straight into the side which regained the League championship crown in 1979 and then retained it a year later.
The defining moment of Kennedy’s time in the Liverpool team came in the European Cup final, staged in Paris, against Real Madrid. The game was a tight affair with few chances, but in the last ten minutes Kennedy made a surging run down the left flank and fired a vicious shot into the Real net at the near post. Liverpool’s third European Cup was sealed.
Liverpool regained the League and retained the League Cup in 1982 – and Kennedy continued his happy habit of getting goals in big finals, firing a superb long-range equaliser in the 1983 League Cup final against Manchester United which Liverpool then went on to win 2-1. In the same year, Kennedy won his fourth League title.
Liverpool’s treble of League title, League Cup and European Cup in 1984 all prominently featured Kennedy, who again proved his worth for the big occasion when he scored the deciding penalty in the shoot-out against AS Roma in the European Cup final after the game itself had ended level.
In 1984, Alain won two England international caps.
Kennedy played much of the trophy-free season which followed in 1985 but was sold the following year by manager Kenny Dalglish.
After spells in Belgium, the English lower divisions and non-league football, Kennedy quit the game at the age of 40.
Since leaving the game he has been seen adding his opinions on the game as a pundit for Sky Sports.