Attacking midfielder Kevin Betsy joined Hull City in late November 1999 on a one month loan, starting two senior fixtures and coming off the bench for a third.
Kevin Eddie Lewis Betsy was born at Woking in Surrey and came through the ranks at his hometown club in the late 1990s. At the time Woking were competing in the Conference National league and Besty was regarded as one of the division’s best players – he was voted the Conference’s Player of the Season for the 1997/98 season and in March 1998 he represented the England semi-professional game in an England C international against Holland. This recognition drew the attention of League Division 2 side Fulham, managed by ex-England international Kevin Keegan, who signed Betsy in September 1998 for a six figure fee. Betsy made his Cottagers’ debut in an October 1998 League Cup tie at Liverpool, after coming off the bench a few times he made his first League start against Millwall in April 1999 and scored in a 4-1 victory. Betsy had a spell on loan at Bournemouth ahead of his month at Hull City, but was out of the Fulham team, newly promoted to League Division 1, for the rest of the season.
Betsy made seven appearances for Fulham during the 2000/01 season as Fulham lifted the second tier title and reached the Premier League. Kevin made his top flight debut in August 2001 when he came off the bench at Manchester United – this proved to be the only Premier League appearance of Betsy’s career. His four year Fulham career comprised 20 appearances and one goal, supplemented by 8 appearances on loan, five for Bournemouth and three for Hull City.
In February 2002 he transferred to League Division 1 strugglers Barnsley for a £200,000 fee. Barnsley were unable to avoid relegation and started the 2002/03 season in League Division 2. Betsy was a first team regular for the next two seasons as the Tykes consolidated with two mid-table finishes and scored 16 times in 105 apppearances. At the start of the 2004/05 season he was loaned to Hartlepool United, where he made seven appearances and scored one goal, before signing for Oldham Athletic in September 2004. He regained a regular first team shirt and ended the season with 44 appearances and 5 goals for the Latics.
In July 2005 he headed back south and joined League 2 side Wycombe Wanderers, in a season and a half playing for the Chairboys he established himself as a dangerous wide man and goalscorer, scoring 13 times in 89 appearances including a September 2005 hattrick against Mansfield Town. Wycombe reached the League 2 play-offs at the end of the 2005/06 season only to lose the semi-final to Cheltenham Town, the following season Wycombe made an unexpected run to the semi-final of the League Cup, knocking out Premier League sides Fulham and Charlton before losing the semi-final to Liverpool. Immediately after the second leg against the Reds in January 2007, Betsy was allowed to join Bristol City for a £200,000 fee. He played regularly for the Robins’ first team as the club won promotion from League 1 to the Championship, but during the 2007/08 season Betsy played only twice for the Ashton Gate side, taking his tally to 19 appearances and 1 goal, and spent time on loan at Yeovil Town (6 appearances, 1 goal) and Walsall (16 appearances, 2 goals).
In August 2008 Betsy joined League 1 side Southend United and was once again a first team regular, scoring three times in 47 appearances during the 2008/09 season. After three more appearances for the Shrimpers at the start of the 2009/10 season Betsy returned to Wycombe Wanderers – initially on loan, then the transfer was made permanent in January 2010. In two seasons he scored five times in 41 appearances as Wycombe dropped to League 2, then made a further 51 appearances and scored seven times as the Chairboys made an instant return to League 1. After just six appearances and one goal during the early weeks of the 2011/12 season Betsy’s contract was cancelled by Wycombe in December 2011, taking his senior career tally to 462 appearances and 56 goals in a 13 season career.
Betsy’s career turned full circle in February 2012 when he re-signed for his first club Woking, winning the Conference South title in May 2012 and spending three more seasons in the Conference National and making another 150-plus appearances before hanging up his boots in May 2015.
In August 2009, while still playing League football for Wycombe Wanderers, Betsy was appointed Under-23s head coach at Fulham. He fulfilled this role throughout his time at Wycombe and Woking while also completing a Sports Journalism degree at Staffordshire University and writing a regular football column for the Daily Mail. In April 2016 Betsy joined the England international coaching setup, performing head coach duties for the Under-15s between 2016 and 2018 then progressing to the Under-16s (in April 2018), the Under-17s (in June 2019) and Under-18s (in August 2020). In August 2021 Betsy was lured away from the England setup and accepted the role of Head Coach for Arsenal’s Under-23 development squad.
Through his grandfather’s nationality, and despite playing for the England semi-professional side in 1998, Betsy qualified to play international football for the Seychelles. After rejecting advances for several years Betsy agreed to play for the island nation in 2011, winning six caps and scoring one goal in the Final of the 2011 Indian Ocean Island Games against Mauritius.
Date/Place of Birth: 20 March 1978, Woking
Hull City First Game: 27 November 1999, Shrewsbury Town A (League Division 3), 21 years, 252 days old
Hull City Final Game: 7 December 1999, York City A (Associate Members’ Cup First Round), 21 years, 262 days old
Woking (1996-1998), Fleet Town (1996, loan), Bognor Regis Town (1997, loan), Fulham (1998-2002), Bournemouth (1999, loan), Hull City (1999, loan), Barnsley (2002, loan), Barnsley (2002-2004), Hartlepool United (2004, loan), Oldham Athletic (2004-2005), Wycombe Wanderers (2005-2007), Bristol City (2007-2008), Yeovil Town (2007, loan), Walsall (2008, loan), Southend United (2008-2009), Wycombe Wanderers (2009-2012), Woking (2012-2015)
Hull City Record
Career: 3 apps, 0 goalsKevin Betsy
|1999/00||1 (1)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||1 (0)||0|