Kevin Francis, who at 6 feet 7 inches must rank as one of the tallest players to appear for Exeter City, arrived at St James’ Park towards the end of his professional career. He was best-known for his time at Stockport County and subsequent spell at Birmingham City.
Spotted playing for Mile Oak Rovers, Kevin signed for Derby County in February 1989 for whom he was to make ten substitute appearances in the Football League. He then joined Stockport County in February 1991, for a fee of £45,000, and was an instant success going on to net 88 goals in 152 league appearances during a four-year stay. Such a record of consistency attracted the attention of larger clubs and, in January 1995, Kevin was to return to the Midlands with an £800,000 move to Birmingham City.
After three years at St Andrews, Kevin switched to Oxford United in February 1998 in a £100,000 transfer ahead of being released to briefly return to Stockport in March 2000. Kevin’s stay at Edgeley Park was short-lived and, following just four appearances, he left the professional game to play for non-league Castleton Gabriels during the early part of 2000/01.
It was at this stage that Exeter City offered Kevin the chance to return to the professional game and, signing on a non-contract basis, he made his Grecians debut in a 3-1 defeat at Halifax Town in November 2000. Although he featured in seven consecutive games (scoring once), up to and including the Boxing Day game against Torquay, Kevin wasn’t offered a contract. He then joined Hull City, then in the same division as Exeter, and played regularly until his release in May 2001.
This proved to be the end of Kevin’s professional career and, thereafter, he appeared for Hednesford Town and Redditch whilst qualifying as an HGV driver. Encouraged to move to Canada by former Grecians' Football in the Community officer Tommy Wheeldon, Kevin relocated to Calgary in 2005 drove trucks across the Rockies for a while and later joined the police with whom he still served in 2023. He also coached at one of the local universities and, from afar, watched the progress of his daughter who played netball for England.
Kevin played international football for Saint Kitts and Nevis, qualifying through his parents, making his debut in April 1998.
League 7; Cups 2 (9)