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The Mail Bag

Tony Kay

Comments (21)

I have just been reading the piece on the Echo's website regarding Everton's hall of fame. About half way through it David France gives the following comment:

"The addition of Tony Kay is the biggest upset, although it will be no surprise to those who saw him play. His poor judgement before he moved to Goodison hurt all Evertonians, but his punishment was harsh. And, unlike the football authorities, we are a forgiving lot.''

Can anyone shed some light as to what that means?
Matt Geraghty, Warrington     Posted 09/01/2009 at 08:28:16

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Gerry Allen
1   Posted 09/01/2009 at 14:25:10

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He was involved in a betting scandal before he joined EFC and it only came to light after he signed.

In 1964, the Sunday People broke the story that Kay, along with fellow Sheffield Wednesday players David Layne and Peter Swan, through the instigation of Jimmy Gauld, had bet on their side to lose. The three were convicted of conspiracy to defraud, Kay on the basis of a taped conversation, one of the first times such evidence was admitted in an English court. He was fined £150 and sentenced to four months imprisonment. On his release, after serving ten weeks, he was banned from football for life by the Football Association though the ban was rescinded seven years later. Kay claims subsequently to have been summoned to London to explain the use of taped evidence to the Kray twins.
Trevor Lynes
2   Posted 09/01/2009 at 14:35:35

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Tragically, Kay would have been right up there with our best ever players. He was a red-haired dynamo of a midfield player and absolutely oozed confidence... His nickname at Goodison was Cassius Kay and he would have been in my best ever EFC eleven. He was a member of the 60s Championship-winning side and he had a huge international future in front of him. In fact he was ironically voted Man of the Match in the game he bet on losing.
Teddy Draper
3   Posted 09/01/2009 at 14:33:20

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Matt, Gerry gave a concise and factual reply to your querie, What he ommited was, Tony Kay was in my opinion the BEST all round FOOTBALLER I have ever seen! He probably would have been England's Captain, winner of everything he played for, such was his determination in all he did.

What a waste, what a shame... When you think of what they get away with now, drug involvement, walking away from motoring offences, etc,etc,. I along with so many others cried when Tony Kay was sidelined forever by silly stupid OLD men of the FA. God Bless you, Tony wherever you are.

Norman Merrill
4   Posted 09/01/2009 at 14:53:49

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Teddy, spot on with your view of Tony, he was everything you could dream of, and that's all we can do is dream.

Another rather sad episode, is that the Jimmy Gauld mentioned by Gerry, was infact a ex-Everton player fom the 50s.

Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:02:58

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If today a footballer had done the same thing I?d ban him for life too!
Couldn?t he have moved abroard though to play? I know it wasn't common then but a good number of players had.
Graham Cook
6   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:06:14

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I totally agree with Trevor, Norman & Teddy on the assesment of Tony Kay. At the time and if he had kept playing for Everton many believe he would have kept Booby Moore out of the England team that was moving towards the 66 campaign. In hindsight he must have died inside to make such a bad judgement in life for the sake of a few bob and to what he could have gone on to be. It was my pleasure to see you play Tony.
Steve Carse
7   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:06:42

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Kay would undoubtedly have been THE man. Cocky. Hard but with a sublime touch and an eye for the killer pass. A rocket of a shot. Intimidating to the opposition. The player who would ?look after? the rest of his team. A great pressure release valve. He was everything.

I remember his one and only cap. Fazed? No chance. Picks up the ball on the edge of the box, looks up, cracks it in, top corner, without blinking. Marvellous.

Funny to think though what our midfield would have looked like had he stayed around. No Ball-Harvey-Kendall.....
Ste Boileau
8   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:27:03

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As above. My dad told me that Tony Kay was the best player he?d ever seen and would have captained England in 66 had the scandal not happened. From the story I read about it, he didn't actually want any part of the bet and pulled out at the last minute, hence his MOM performance, but they already had him on tape. Pity indeed.
Chris Jones
9   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:34:26

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After his problems with betting, he also got implicated in a dodgy deal concerning a diamond. Sadly he seems to have been a silly lad (at best) and this ruined what would have been a memorable career.

Personally I was a bit surprised (to say the least) that he was voted a "legend". I think his demise tarnishes the title and those worthy of association with it.
Paul Joy
10   Posted 09/01/2009 at 15:34:59

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Fabulous player no question. From my memory it was not Bobby Moore who would have been the player at risk but Stiles/Ball. I saw him play after his ban was lifted at the Tower Ground New Brighton against the RS reserve side that included Keegan. Tony Kay was just class and stood head and shoulders above everyone else on view. What might have been, eh - Alex Young, Alan Ball and Tony Kay.
Roy Coyne
11   Posted 09/01/2009 at 17:26:48

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A great player but I don?t think he should be in the Hall of Fame. Apart from the bribe, he never played for us long enough although had I have no doubts he would have been an all-time great.
Ray Roche
12   Posted 09/01/2009 at 18:22:22

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Kay was a wonderfull footballer, hard as nails but with a gifted football brain. When you see the corruption that surrounded Grobbelaar, it beggars belief that Kay was treated that harshly and Brucie got off scot free. I wouldn?t suggest that a guilty footballer SHOULD get off but was Kay any more guilty than Grobbelaar?
Mick Wrende
13   Posted 09/01/2009 at 18:31:05

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He was a crook pure and simple. And the worst kind throwing a match. Hall of fame ? your are fucking joking!
Bob Patterson
14   Posted 09/01/2009 at 18:38:24

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While agreeing he was a great footballer, at the '66 Cup Final a mate and I went for a leak to the toilets at Wembly Station, inside there was a crowd round a bloke selling tickets at a fiver a go. We pushed forward to see if we could buy two.... Red hair, sunglasses... yes, the great man himself.
Matt Geraghty
15   Posted 09/01/2009 at 20:16:46

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Thanks for that fellas.
Dick Fearon
16   Posted 09/01/2009 at 21:18:42

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Good, bad and greedy, when Kay threw games he also threw away a potentially wonderful career plus any respect I had for him. He would bring disgrace and shame and lessen any honour board to which he was enrolled. To put his crime into perspective consider your reaction should any member of our current squad be found to make a few bob extra to his already bloated wage by deliberately throwing a game.
Michael Jennings
17   Posted 09/01/2009 at 22:14:40

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Didn?t the BBC do a documentary on this starring Steve Coogan... Would this still be available anywhere?
Derek Thomas
18   Posted 09/01/2009 at 22:34:25

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Things were different then and he got the short end of the stick, He got done on the testemony of Gauld who was doing a deal to cover himself in a way that would not be allowed in court now.

A silly mistake but no attempt to defraud only a technical conspiracy to defraud.

The talk was pre the Ipswich game, no matter how good we play we never seem to get anything there, well tell you what, if thats the case, if we all put in a couple of quid we wont go away empty handed, I’ll get the brother in law to put it on...and the rest is history.

Like a lot of things when they crash and burn, no one big cause ( ie actual attempt to lose the match, eh Brucie ), but lots of small things that contribute... Not lest Gaulds on going cupidity, he was later done for his ongoing, at the time, mis demeanors, but no good for the Sheffield 3 so what price his word, being set up with a wire by the papers for cash!!, unsafe conviction and a knee jerk out of touch establishment..

Like I said on another thread re legends, define legend.

All those who saw him could see the class.

WHAT A WASTE....that sort of legend.
Derek Thomas
19   Posted 09/01/2009 at 23:02:28

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Dick Fearon you call it like it was an ongoing business like the Soprano?s.

How did Billy Bullshit get all those votes with all his ?crimes? against Evertonia... Kings Dock, The Fortress Fund, 24/7, watch this space, DK.

Dick Fearon
20   Posted 10/01/2009 at 09:26:11

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Derek Thomas I am confused enough without having to decipher your bizarre ramblings. How the hell do you segue from Tony Kay in the 60s to Bill Kenwright in the 90s.
I was of the understanding that this topic was about the misdemeanours of Tony Kay and my input was solely connected with that.
You should by now have grasped the fact that denigrating Bill K when it has nothing to do with the matter under discussion is boring, repetitive and extremely tiresome.
To do so in this case does not in any way ameliorate the disgusting actions of Kay and his cronies.
As with all clubs there are many skeletons in the Goodison cupboard but most are best left for historians to deal with.
Exceptions are when a poster like Matt Geraghty seeks information that someone can shed light upon.
Willie Norman
21   Posted 12/01/2009 at 14:06:22

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Kay was a very talented footballer and all that?s said above about his ball control, passing and lethal shot is true.
However, I never took to him or felt he was a real asset to the Everton team of the time because he was often vicious in his tackling and came over as very arrogant, not really a ?team? player. I think this side of his character would have also prevented him ever being regularly chosen for the England squad of that era. For the most part, one had to be a ?nice? or at least an ?simple-honest? type to be selected them-a-days.

Although it?s true what Trevor Lynes wrote above (that Kay was a member of the 1962-63 championship-winning team), Brian Harris actually played more games at left-half than Kay that season, and Harris?s replacement by Kay midway through the 1962-63 season was a harsh even unfair decision by Catterick, since Harris was a main contributor to the team being top of the league from about September through to Xmas. (Although I don?t have statistics at hand, I believe Everton were more successful that season when Harris played rather than Kay).

Harris read the game and passed just as well and as inventively as Kay, without Kay?s arrogant manner or vicious tackling. Harris was also a better ?foil? for the more extrovert players like Jimmy Gabriel that season, and also a couple of seasons later Alan Ball. Had Kay and Ball ever played in the same team, I can imagine there would have been discord between the two, to the detriment of the team, not the success Paul Joy implies might have happened, meaning one or the other would have had to go.

Nonetheless, I think he was treated too severly, especially if you look at what sentences dope-takers in different sports now receive.

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