Memories Of Jack Kelsey
Alex Gould wrote:
Jack Kelsey - nobody better
In the summer of 1962 I travelled New York to London to train and have a trial with Arsenal at the former Welsh International Alf Sherwood's recommendation. I believe that I was the first American born footballer to make such an effort.
Andrew Messenger wrote:
My dad took me to the Arsenal for the first time in about 1958 or '59 when I was a small boy. I remember a long walk through drab gray North London streets, a large crowd pushing to get onto the terraces at the clock end and then the shock of the vivid green of the pitch and the wonderful atmosphere resonating around the very enclosed Highbury ground.
Ralph Carroll wrote:
I watched Jack Kelsey play many times in the 1950's. He was a great goalkeeper. But what I remember was the way he used to stroll out before the match smoking a cigarette, like he had not got a care in the world.
trevor bond wrote:
i was there in the late fifty's, Jack was my fav. i was there when we played man utd in 1958, we lost 5-4. that was the last game for the BUSBY BABES before MUNICH.
John Levy wrote:
I have read your article on Jack Kelsey just after reading the list in the internet edition of The Times of the Arsenal's 50 greatest players, where Jack Kelsey comes in at 19, a low figure in my opinion. I watched him regularly throughout his Arsenal career, and while your article is correct about his security, I feel that it does not emphasise enough the way in which he caught shots and crosses which most keepers today would aim to punch or deflect.
Alun Evans wrote:
Saw first proffessional game aged 8 or 9 - Wales v. ? at Wrexham. Was totally amazed by the way Jack Kelsey dominated his penalty area and his skills. I only ever saw him play live that once, but have never forgotten his performance.
Alan Miller wrote:
In the 1950's I remember going to Highbury with my cousin Brian and 2 uncles. We always went to the Clock End where my Uncles Bill Taylor and Ron Barton would have short conversations with Jack during the matches.
John Daly wrote:
I idolized Jack Kelsey. One day I realized that the Arsenal team would be leaving Paddington Station for a game, I think against Wolves. I took the day off school, without the knowledge of my Mum, who would have gone apopleptic, had she known! I found the platform from which the train would leave and waited. I cannot recall which of my other heroes, Danny Clapton, Joe Haverty, Derek Tapscott, Dave Bowen, were there, but Jack Kelsey was. I got his autograph and was just standing there basking in his shadow. While I was looking the other way I felt the slap of a newspaper on my head! I looked around and could not figure who had hit me. I turned away and was hit again, but this time I saw the culprit. It was my idol, Jack Kelsey! He then ruffled my hair and laughed with me.
Stephen Jackson wrote:
My dad has a great memory of Jack Kelsey playing for Arsenal in 1959. It was an evening game and after all the players were on the pitch it was announced that Kelsey would be a couple of minutes late as he'd travelled up from Wales where he'd played in an international that afternoon. After a few minutes Kelsey came on to keep the Gunner's goal...with a fag in his mouth.
Roy Hills wrote:
I first saw Jack performing for Arsenal in 1957. Thereafter, until his sad retirement due to injury, he was my absolute idol. Jack was a superb goalkeeper and some of his saves defied logic. Anyone who has watched him would agree that his ability in the air when catching high crosses has not, and never will be, surpassed.
now aged 62 i remember attending my first internationl aged 12 in cardiff to see my hero jack kelsey. as a young golkeeper i could not take my eyes off him. he always seemed to be in the newspapers with photos making great saves and is the reason i have been an arsenal fan for the last 50 odd years. has there been a better gooner between the sticks?
keith worthing wrote:
I remember the story that Jack's secret to catching the ball was to cover his hands with his discarded chewing gum during the match.
stephen harris wrote:
I am sure I saw him smoke a cigarette in a game against fulham
daniel kelsey wrote:
hey i didnt know jack, i was only 2 years old when he died but im related to him. he is my grandfathers cousin or sumthin like that thas all i got to say for now byebye
Steve Derby wrote:
I recall a remarkable game at West Ham which ended with Lawrie Leslie, Hammers Scottish international goalkeeper playing on the wing after an injury. No subs in those days.