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16th Jun 2024

Ray Parlour apologises for ‘insensitive’ Kevin Campbell tribute

Ryan Jarrett

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell sadly died aged 54 on Saturday.

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has been forced to apologise after facing criticism online for a video he posted paying tribute to ex-teammate Kevin Campbell.

Campbell died at the age of 54 yesterday after spending several weeks in hospital with a serious illness.

His death was announced by former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley, who posted on X that Campbell had passed away.

He wrote: “Life can be so cruel at times Absolutely devastated with news of my ex forest team mate Kevin Campbell’s passing, a true gentleman, a great player, a shining light of a dressing room, fun-loving guy, thoughts are with all his family and friends RIP mate.”

His post was followed by several others who played alongside Campbell throughout his career, like Wayne Rooney and Ian Wright.

Parlour, who won the double with Campbell in 1993, posted on X: “Devastated hearing the news this morning RIP Kevin. Great player and even nicer Fella. Thoughts with his family at this tough time.”

The 51-year-old followed the touching message with a video of himself pouring a mixture of Jagermeister and beer in a tribute to his former teammate before drinking the alcoholic beverage, an act he has become known for on social media.

The video has since been taken down, but was followed hours later by this apology from Parlour.

“I apologise if I have upset anyone in my last post,” he wrote. “I wholeheartedly didn’t mean to come across insensitive. I loved Kevin and I’m honestly devastated for his family and friends at this terrible time. I’m sending all my love to them and anyone who came across this amazing man.”

Some people were quick to point out Parlour’s lack of sensitivity, with one user posting the following.

Another wrote: “Weird, weird reaction.”

Two of Campbell’s former clubs also posted heartfelt tributes to the London-born forward.

Arsenal’s statement read: “We are devastated to learn that our former striker Kevin Campbell has died after a short illness. Kevin was adored by everyone at the club. All of us are thinking of his friends and family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Kevin.”

Everton posted: “Everyone at Everton is deeply saddened by the death of our former striker Kevin Campbell at the age of just 54.

“Not just a true Goodison Park hero and icon of the English game, but an incredible person as well – as anyone who ever met him will know.

“RIP, Super Kev.”

Several other colleagues and ex-teammates of Campbell had warm and loving words to say about the Premier League legend.

Campbell started his career with Arsenal, where he made 224 first-team appearances for the Gunners after loan spells with Leyton Orient and Leicester.

During his time at the club, he helped Arsenal win the league title in 1991, the FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and famously the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later.

After spells at Nottingham Forest and Trabzonspor, Campbell joined Everton on a six-month loan in the second half of the 1998-99 season. The Toffees made his spell at Goodison Park permanent that summer when they bought him for £3 million.

He went on to score 50 goals in 160 games during his time on Merseyside, where he quickly became a fan favourite.

After his time at Everton, Campbell had short spells at West Brom and Cardiff, before he retired in 2006.

He finished his career with 83 Premier League goals in 325 appearances.

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