Worksop Town legend Jon Kennedy honoured with testimonial match

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Worksop Town legend Jon Kennedy was ‘honoured’ to be recognised for his fantastic career as the Tigers beat Retford FC 7-1 in his testimonial match on Tuesday, writes Devon Cash.

Ben Tomlinson opened the scoring on 15 minutes as he raced onto a through-ball from Aleks Starcenko to dink the ball past Ryan Barson.

Terry Hawkridge then doubled their lead after the half-hour mark when he sensationally struck a first-time volley past the ‘keeper from the edge of the area.

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Tomlinson bagged a second before the interval as he headed home from Vaughan Redford’s cross.

A night to remember for Tigers legend Jon Kennedy. Photo by Lewis Pickersgill.A night to remember for Tigers legend Jon Kennedy. Photo by Lewis Pickersgill.
A night to remember for Tigers legend Jon Kennedy. Photo by Lewis Pickersgill.

The second period saw Worksop make 10 changes as the Reserves took centre stage, with 16-year-old Max Eastwood adding a fourth, scoring from a rebound.

Ethan Slater then found the bottom corner on the angle before Rostik Yaremenko chipped a penalty down the middle to make it 6-0.

Eastwood netted his second with three minutes remaining before Joel Bradshaw deflected home a consolation for the Choughs.

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And Kennedy, who made over 240 appearances for the Tigers, cut a proud figure after the game.

“I am honoured really,” he said. “Thank you to both clubs for doing this fixture for me. Obviously, I am gutted that I couldn’t play in it due to not being fit enough in time after tearing my ankle ligaments at the end of last season.

“Because I had been at Retford for six years, and this is probably going to be my last season. The club asked about doing a testimonial and Worksop were the first club that came to mind to play against because I thought it would be nice to have the last team I played for and the first team that I played for.

“I signed as a 17-year-old and played in the Reserves for a season and then made my first-team debut a week or so after my 18th birthday before being the number one the following season.

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“I would say that making my debut would be my favourite Worksop memory. I am sure Lee Trundle scored a hat-trick for Stalybridge Celtic that day, but that felt like a big step in what kickstarted it all.

“I appreciate everyone that has taken the time to come down because the weather’s not great – it should be a nice sunny evening.

“I cannot thank both clubs enough for the game and the mementoes because I really do appreciate it.

“It was great to see a lot of old faces and I know the term ‘football family’ gets overused at times but in this case, I think it proves that it is an actual thing and it is good to see.”