Sunday, July 21, 2024

Super Kev

Morning.

I never had the privilege of meeting Kevin Campbell in real life, but I was a guest on a few episodes of the Highbury Squad podcast he did with Sophie Nicolau.

The first time I did it, we were ‘backstage’ before recording/streaming started, and he welcomed me and spoke to me as if I was an old friend. I’ve been doing Arseblog for a long time now, but it’s impossible not to get just a little bit star-struck when you meet someone who has got any kind of history with Arsenal. These guys you have watched play and score and represent the red and white with such quality over the years, I think it’s normal to just be a little nervous.

But Kevin was someone who put you at ease straight away. He was warm, personable, charming, and even when didn’t always agree on all football topics, we could discuss them in an open and engaging way. I don’t do much of Twitter these days, but my timeline yesterday was filled with tributes to Kevin Campbell, all of which were so overwhelmingly positive about him as a player and a person. From all the clubs he played for, not just Arsenal, and from people he worked with after he had hung up his boots.

Many players go into media afterwards, but you don’t always get to know who they really are because there’s a professional front, so to speak. Kevin Campbell was someone who did the mainstream stuff, but because he also got on the mic for podcasts, we got to know him a little better than some of the others. We were lucky to share in his passion for Arsenal and for football, and to have spent any time in his orbit is to have come away feeling happy you got to spend a little time in his world.

His passing at just 54 seems so cruel, it really is no age, and it’s a reminder to all of us that you just never know the hour or the day. It makes you remember that life is short, and that the truly important things are to be kind, to look after each other, to care about each other, and to try and follow the example he set. Others have written longer tributes to a man they knew far better than I did, I thought Amy’s piece for The Athletic was wonderful for example, but like everyone else I was so sad to hear of his passing yesterday.

Sincere condolences to his family and his many friends. He was a quality player, and a quality man.

RIP Super Kev.

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