A JustArsenal tribute to the amazing Kevin Campbell on his passing….

What defines a person isn’t what they did but who they were.

One day, we will die ….
What matters most isn’t what we achieved, our milestones, our wealth.
While all of that that will be mentioned, what is more important is how we will be remembered.
Did our personality touch those around us?
Were our peers inspired by our character?
Did we catch those who fell?
Were we a blanket when friends seeked comfort?
Did we value love and protect it?

It’s been known for a while that Kevin Campbell was battling a serious illness. That’s what it was, it was a battle. One that the 54-year-old has now lost.

I could quote you the odds of a 15-year-old not just being promoted from Arsenal’s Academy to the first team but winning medals with his boyhood club.

I could reference a teenager’s character when instead of sulking while waiting for an opportunity, going on loan to Leyton Orient and getting himself noticed (and the O’s promoted).

Of course, we could celebrate his goals in the 1991 run in which played a part in another title for the Gunners.

Comparisons could be made how other strikers would have felt unmotivated by the arrival of Ian Wright. Instead of being selfless off the pitch while versatile on it.

The 93 FA and League Cups Finals as well as the 1994 Cup Winner Cup Final are memories which will live forever. Campbell starred in those events.

Outside of North London he’s adored in Liverpool where only 4 men have scored more times in the Premier League for Everton.

He played his part in West Brom’s famed ‘Great Escape’, the first topflight team to avoid relegation having been bottom of the table on Christmas Day.

His 23 goals helped Forest return to the Prem.

Van Hooijdonk went on strike for three months when his strike partner was sold to Trabzonspor. Wherever was the Dutchman missing; Campbell’s ability or personality? It’s a compliment either way.

Courage was evident in Turkey where he stood up to and refused to tolerate 7 months of racism.

I could mention any of that and of course it’s a CV that his family should rightly be proud of. Yet the biggest compliment his loved ones need to know is within the sport you won’t hear a negative word said about Kevin Campbell.

In many ways he was almost too nice for the industry. When he spoke, he came across as a man who never forgot his roots, making him someone the modern supporter could relate to.

I was invited onto a podcast where Campbell was also a guest. It’s endearing how many YouTube channels he’s helped grow by agreeing to an interview no matter how many subscribers. How many ex-professionals would do that?

His son is a professional footballer.

While he will be so proud his flesh and blood has made it to that level, his legacy is this tribute from his son Tyrese (who is now playing at Stoke City): ‘The pain of this is indescribable and as a son you look at your dad as invincible. He is my idol, the one who I wanted to be when I grew up,” said the 24-year-old.

“He was the life and soul of every party and room he blessed, a one-in-a-million person that was loved by everyone. A special, special person. I’ll miss you, Dad.

“I would now ask that the privacy of our family is respected as we mourn the loss of an irreplaceable father, brother, uncle and all-round amazing human being.”

The JustArsenal Family’s thoughts are with Kevin’s whole family.

Kevin Campbell – one a Gunner always a Gunner

Dan


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11 Comments

  1. A superb and fitting article, honouring a special person and Arsenal player.
    We, as Arsenal supporters will always remember him as a fellow Gooner, who loved our club as much as we all do.
    RIP big man, you will be sorely missed.

    Thank you Dan.

  2. Can’t really add anything further to Ken1945’s response to Dan’s tribute to Kevin Campbell and his son’s touching and heartfelt words too

  3. Lovely article Dan. Kevin always came across as a very humble man, and one that will be sorely missed.

    Rest In Peace Super Kev.

  4. One fact omitted, which makes KC a permanent part of Arsenal history….

    It was his goal against PSG which caused us to sing “One nil to the Arsenal” at Highbury for the very first time.

    1. I echo this statement. Heartfelt aricle.
      RIP: Kevin (pacey and strong) Campbell.

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