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OBITUARY - MARK KENDALL

Posted on 5 May 2008  - 12:00

Mark Kendall, who passed away recently, aged 49, kept goal in over 200 competitive appearances in our colours during his five years here at White Hart Lane.

Mark Kendall, who passed away recently, aged 49, kept goal in over 200 competitive appearances in our colours during his five years here at White Hart Lane.

Recommended by Welsh scout Harold Joy, Mark progressed through the junior, youth and reserve team ranks to make 36 senior appearances between November, 1978 and August, 1980 and went on to feature in well over 500 league and cup games during his career.

Born at Tredegar, near Blackwood, on September 30, 1958, Mark Kendall attended Bedwelty Grammar School, Bargoed and represented his district and county sides.

A Welsh Schoolboy international, he arrived here at the beginning of April, 1975 and signed apprentice professional forms. Given his Junior debut on the 5th, he faced Southend United in the South East Counties League Division Two and stepped up for his Youth team bow at Chelsea 11 days later. By the end of the season he had helped the Juniors to win both the Division Two title and the South East Counties League Division Two Cup.

Just a few weeks after his 17th birthday, Mark made his reserve team debut in the Football Combination home fixture with Luton Town on October 22, 1975. He ended the season with another South East Counties League Division Two Cup winners medal.

Having signed full professional forms during July, 1976, season 1976-77 saw Mark play regularly in our Combination side as well as the Youth team, making 53 appearances in all. He added to his tally of Welsh Youth caps and missed only one game for the reserve team the following season. He gained his single Under-21 cap for Wales against Scotland at Chester on February 8, 1978.

Mark made the first of his 471 Football League appearances on November 4, 1978, in a 2-2 draw at Norwich City. He helped our reserve team to consecutive Football Combination championships in 1978-79 and 1979-80 and had a nine match loan spell at Chesterfield between November, 1979 and February, 1980.

Mark played the last of his 214 competitive games for us against Arsenal on August 30, 1980 and began a loan stint at Newport County the following month which resulted in a permanent transfer on October 23. The Somerton Park outfit broke their record fee paid with a £45,000 bid. The Welsh Cup winners gained aclaim for their run to the last eight of the European Cup Winners Cup that season.

Having made 347 senior appearances for County – including 272 in the Football League – missing just seven League games in five years, Mark joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan at the end of 1986 and signed a permanent deal a month later which brought a much needed £25,000 transfer fee into the County coffers.

An ever-present as Wolves won the Fourth Division title in 1987-88, Mark also featured in their Sherpa Van Trophy winning side against Burnley at Wembley and gained a Third Division Championship medal the following year.

After 147 League appearances for Wolves he joined Swansea City during July, 1990 and won a Welsh Cup winners medal in his first season at Vetch Field. His final Football League appearance came whilst playing on loan for Burnley at Blackpool on January 11, 1992.

Spells followed with Newport AFC and Ebbw Vale later that year. He did feature in occasional games thereafter, including one Welsh Premier League fixture during September, 2000 when he turned out for Cwmbran Town against Barry Town. At the other end of the pitch was his son Lee, keeping goal for Barry Town!

Mark joined the Gwent Constabulary during 1994 and reached the rank of Detective Constable. Twice he received commendations, once after making an off duty arrest when witnessing an assault by four men and when confronted by a man wielding a chainsaw.

The last few years saw him move to training fellow officers and last November he received the National Police Trainer of the Year award. He continued his football career as a player with the South Wales Constabulary and also had two stints as team coach of the Welsh Police side.

Married to Gaynor since 1978 – who worked in our commercial office during Mark’s time at Tottenham - their son Lee followed his father into football gaining Schoolboy, Youth, Under-21 and Semi-Professional honours for Wales whilst on the books of Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, Shrewsbury Town, Barry Town, Haverfordwest County and Rhyl. They also have a daughter Lori and two grandchildren.

Mark passed away at his Blackwood home on the evening of May 1, 2008 following a suspected heart attack. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.