Kevin Campbell obituary: Arsenal & Everton hero mixed power and finesse with big personality

Kevin Campbell obituary: Arsenal & Everton hero mixed power and finesse with big personality

15 June 2024 Off By Total Football News

Kevin Campbell was a striker who mixed finesse, power and finishing ability to great effect during a career in which he played a prominent role at several clubs.

Campbell, who has died aged 54, is perhaps best known for his time at Arsenal, where he was a First Division title winner in 1991, and won the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 before playing in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final win over Parma the following year.

The other high spot of Campbell’s career came when he joined Everton on loan from Turkish side Trabzonspor in March 1999 to end a nightmare spell in Turkey, scoring nine goals in eight games to help Walter Smith’s side avoid relegation.

He became an enduringly popular figure at Everton for scoring the winner in a 1-0 Merseyside derby win at Anfield in September 1999. It was to be 22 years before the Toffees won there again, ensuring Campbell’s permanent place in the affections of the blue half of Merseyside.

Born in Lambeth, Campbell came to prominence in the youth ranks at Arsenal, winning the FA Youth Cup in 1988 and once scoring 59 goals in a single season at that level.

He often played in the shadow, at least when measured by his profile, of forwards such as Alan Smith, Paul Merson and latterly Ian Wright, but Campbell’s adaptability, versatility and team ethic, allied to his natural striker’s instinct made him a vital component of manager George Graham’s successes at Highbury.

The flowering of Campbell’s Arsenal career came after loan spells at Leyton Orient, who he helped to promotion from the Fourth Division in 1989, then at Leicester City in Division Two before returning to the Gunners and truly coming into his own.

Campbell scored eight goals in 10 games during the run-in as Arsenal won the title in 1990-91 in what was an era of rebirth for the Gunners under Graham.

This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/articles/c3ggl7zy84xo