Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell

Remembering Kevin Campbell – 1970-2024

They say never meet your heroes. But in the case of Kevin Campbell that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I idolised ‘Super Kev’ when I was growing up. Standing in the Juniors Gunners section at Highbury as a kid he gave me so many great memories. 

The winner against PSG in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final, that volley against Palace, the turn and finish that sparked the remarkable 7-1 against Sheffield Wednesday. There are plenty more that I could mention.

He scored in front of the North Bank in the first North London derby I ever went to. Of course his great mate Ian Wright scored the other goal that day.

I loved those two together. The friendship, the celebrations, the smiles. Two players who absolutely loved playing for Arsenal. As a kid growing up dreaming of doing exactly that, it was impossible not to look up to them.

Campbell was a striker who had it all. He had razor sharp instincts in front of goal. He was strong as an ox and could bounce defenders off him all game long.

But he was a real team player as well. And that’s why everyone loved him. Whether he was at Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Everton or West Brom, he gave everything he could and was appreciated by all.

And that’s why the devastating news of his death has been met by such widespread sadness and disbelief. You just have to look at the messages that are coming from across football to see what a popular and loved man he was.

And those messages are not just about Kevin Campbell the footballer, they are about Kevin Campbell the man. Because he was a great one.

Getting to know him a bit in recent years was an absolute joy. He just loved Arsenal and all the conversations we had in the press room at the Emirates or in the pubs around the ground were proof of that.

He was so passionate about the club and he was so proud to have been able to play for it.

And he was so willing to give his time to anyone who wanted it. In the pub before or after the games he would be swamped by fans and he would speak to them all, sharing his stories from his time as a player.

That’s just the guy he was. A top, top man who will be greatly missed by all.

Rest in Peace Super Kev. A great man taken far too soon.