Joe Kinnear

(27/12/1946 - 07/04/2024)

Joe Kinnear, born 27 December 1946, former footballer, manager and pundit who played most notably for Tottenham Hotspur, Republic of Ireland and managed India, Nepal, Newcastle, Wimbledon, Nottingham Forest, Luton Town and Newcastle Untied and in the UAE amongst others.

He was born Joseph Patrick Reddy and grew up on Corrib road, Kimmage and began his education in Crumlin. However, his mother Greta split up with his father Joe Reddy, a Shamrock Rovers footballer who worked in Guinness(and how they got the house on Corrib Road). Aged eight, young Joe and Greta moved to Watford, England . Raised by his mother on a council estate, Kinnear faced adversity early in life after his father’s passing. He took the surname Kinnear after his stepfather, Gerry Kinnear.

Kinnear’s journey in football began with St Albans City before catching the attention of Tottenham Hotspur in 1963. Under the guidance of Bill Nicholson, he made his debut in 1966, playing a pivotal role for Spurs for ten seasons, securing major honours, including the FA Cup, the League Cup twice, the Charity Shield, and the UEFA Cup. He made his international debut for Republic of Ireland in 1967 versus Turkey and went on to earn 26 caps. In 1975, Kinnear moved to Brighton before retiring at the age of 30 after making 16 appearances for the club.

After retiring in 1977, Kinnear ventured into football management, spending five years in Sharjah, UAE, and managing teams in India, Nepal, and Malaysia. Kinnear’s managerial success continued with Wimbledon, where he guided the club nicknamed the ‘crazy gang’ to unprecedented success, including a historic victory in the 1988 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, a triumph forever etched in football history. Kinnear’s ability to inspire and motivate his team became a hallmark of his managerial style. His tenure at Wimbledon ended in 1999 due to a heart attack, marking the conclusion of a successful era for the club.

Kinnear’s next managerial role was with Luton Town, where he led the team to promotion after their relegation. In 2004, Kinnear took over as the manager of Nottingham Forest, guiding them to a 14th-place finish. His second season, marred by poor results, ended with his resignation in December 2004.

In a surprising return to the Premier League, Kinnear became the interim manager of Newcastle United in 2008. Despite health concerns, his tenure witnessed notable victories and controversies. A heart bypass operation led to Alan Shearer taking over as the manager, and Kinnear’s contract officially expired in May 2009. Kinnear’s tumultuous return to Newcastle as the Director of Football in 2013 was marked by controversial statements, mispronunciations, and a lack of significant signings. He resigned in February 2014.

In 2021, it was revealed that Kinnear has been living with dementia since 2015, adding a poignant chapter to his storied football career. Joe passed away on the 7th April 2024.

Beyond the football pitch, Kinnear’s life is a testament to resilience and determination. His journey, encompassing highs and lows, reflects a man whose love for football transcends setbacks and adversities. Whether as a player or a manager, Joe Kinnear’s name is forever intertwined with the beautiful game, leaving an enduring legacy in the hearts of football enthusiasts worldwide.

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Connection with area: Irish footballer and manager who was born and lived on Corrib Road, Kimmage