Known - apparently - as "Mad Dog", Andy Kennedy was the striker least likely to live up to his name. To all outside of Watford, Andy was better known for his sexual exploits with a leading Page Three Model. Pictured in the "News of the World" wearing just his underpants, and her similarly scantily clad, they spoke at length of their love for one another. It was HERE, and not on the terraces of the Vicarage, where I learnt his nickname. Of course, Andy being Andy, he did some exquisite approach work, but failed to put the ball in the net, and the love affair ended after a surprisingly short time.
Of course, our interest in Andy Kennedy was in his on-pitch exploits. An enigmatic chap, he cut a tall figure against the grass of the Vicarage, where he could be so often seen lying on his face, or sat on his backside ruing another missed chance. He was a true maverick in style and dress - he wore his shirt untucked, cycling shorts and his collars up Cantona-style. If an opposing team wanted to keep him under control, they did not need to mark him, merely make sure that he was offside, which, for long spells of the game, he would be.
Nobody really seems to know where he came from, nor for how much he was bought. On researching into the life and career of the Mad Dog, numerous different possible transfer deals have been suggested. Extended research, having asked a number of fellow Horns and referred to countless different books, has come up with the suggestion that he was brought to the Vic from Blackburn Rovers (although not the same big-spending Lancastrian club that is managed by Kenny Dalglish and funded by Jack Walker, but a much less well known, unsuccessful Lancastrian club with the same name). The deal which brought Andy to Watford saw Lee Richardson travel to Lancashire.
Colin Lee had, therefore, in his opinion, secured the services of the supposedly able goal-getter. Such a successful player offered in exchange for such an under-achieveing striker renders this transfer, in my opinion, a rather over-zealous purchase, unrivalled, except for the rather unfortunate purchase of an unpopular Welsh midfielder-cum-striker.
Andy just appeared in a Golden Shirt and wanted to play for the Horns, like a little kid wanting to join in the grown-up's match at the park. Whether his heart was really at the club or whether he had left it in the handbag of Maria Whittaker has yet to be proven.
Andy always seemed to have forgotten to put any studs in his boots. If ever he felt he could get away with it, his legs would give way at the edge of the box. These were never theatrical, dramatic Klinnsmann-style dives, he would just drop to the floor - Nigel Clough style. For some players this would win a penalty or a free kick from an advantageous position. Not "Mad Dog". He would try this ploy every five minutes or so, and - like the little boy that cried "Wolf!" - the trick never worked (probably because he wasn't Bryan Robson - it works for him every time).
Usually a player of Andy's height is a very useful tool up front, delivering extra height to set pieces and corners. This was not, however, an advantage of Andy's - his heading, if he connected with the ball at all, was miserably wayward. He made thirteen appearances for the club in the centenary year, and managed to put the ball in the net three times.
Before the end of his career in Hertfordshire, St Mirren offered him a return to his native Scotland, for a fee of £50,000. He refused the offer, because he did not wish to leave his model girlfriend. Andy and Maria split up three weeks later, and Andy grasped the opportunity to move south, joining Brighton and Hove Albion on a free transfer, where he partnered Kurt Nogan for a season. He then moved to Gillingham, but could not get in the reserve team - kept out by forty-five year old "Gladiator" Wolf. His most recent move was East, to Hong Kong.
Well played, Andy Kennedy!