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Kevin Keegan's famous radio interview [audio:keegan.mp3]
The Messiah and fellow United legend Peter Beardsley were made a surprised appearance yesterday for a talk-in organised by Graeme Forster’s www.grass.uk.com which supports local grassroots sports at the Federation Brewery’s Lancastrian Suite in Dunston.
850 lucky and privileged Toon Fan was being recalled by his famous Cavaliers side, when many of the Premier League team feel they already loss before playing against us.
That night King Kev talking all the good and bad times in reference to a five-year period in which he is not only transformed Newcastle United but almost changed the face of football with an exciting brand of attacking soccer.
On his speech infront of the crowd included his ex-Newcastle players like Kevin Carr, Rob Lee, John Beresford and Paul Bracewell, Keegan said: “It’s always great to come back for me and not just to see Pedro – I have a lot of friends here. I played for the club and I managed the club. It was my dad’s favourite club too, he was from Hetton.”
Later he added more info that not many Toon supporters ever heard about. His grandfather was one of the workers in the 1909 Stanley pit disaster and one of the few who got out from there alive.
Stanley pit disaster is one of the worst coal mining disasters in British history took place in Stanley at West Stanley Colliery on February 16, 1909 when over 160 people were killed in a burns pit disaster.
Kevin Keegan's grandfather, Frank Keegan was one of the 36 people who came out of the pit alive. He was later hailed as a hero for the way he managed to keep calm among the other survivors, and was also among the first to go back into the pit in the search for victims.
King Kev first encounter with Newcastle was on the day the England skipper flew into Newcastle Airport to sign for the Magpies, Tyneside literally went crazy. It was a big national story. They chased him all over the north east in a vehicle procession that was more like the Wacky Races.
Supporters couldn't believe it. From being in the football wilderness, United were catapulted into the spotlight. His transfer from Southampton was a massive scoop and dramatically transformed Arthur Cox's team into a winning formula – one that eventually took the club back to the First Division.
Keegan ended his career in black'n'white shirt immediately after the promotion was secured for the Magpies. He has a glorious 16 years of career with more than 700 appearances and almost 300 goals.
The 33 year-old Keegan said on that day, “My only regret is that I didn't come to Newcastle a little earlier.”
A decade later after his retirement as a player, Kevin Keegan proved to be a master signing as a manager too. Persuaded to take the job – his first as a boss – when the Magpies were facing relegation to Division Three in 1992.
Keegan as the manager once again had a dramatic effect on the club. He saved the day, built a stylish team that lifted the First Division Championship and then challenged for the Premiership Title. And yesterday he said it again, “I will always love Newcastle United and, more importantly, the fans.”