In October 1993, Andy Cole was accused of walking out on Newcastle United after a training ground bust-up with manager Kevin Keegan.
In an ITV documentary (ITV4 10pm Andy Cole: Sports Life Stories) screened tonight, both Andy Cole and Kevin Keegan talk about what actually happened twenty two years ago (how old does that make you feel…?).
The striker claiming that this incident paved the way for his dramatic exit the following season.
“I felt so tired and I couldn’t get myself going. He (Keegan) said,‘Don’t you fancy it today?’ So I said to him, ‘No I don’t fancy it today.’
“So he said, ‘Well if you don’t fancy it you can do one.’ So I said, ‘Okay, not a problem to me,’ and I just walked off.
“I got in a taxi and my girlfriend then, she was at home, so I just ended up going to hers. And I remember I rang the doorbell and she said to me, ‘What are you doing here, you’ve got a game tonight haven’t you?’ “I said I just walked out of there, I couldn’t be bothered.”
“We went to play the game, no Andy Cole and we lost, and we go in Friday for training, we’ve got a game on Saturday. Andy poked his head round the door and he just said, ‘Gaffer, what do I do now?’
“I said, ‘I’ll tell you what to do, you go out, you train properly and if I think you are fit enough I will put you in the team tomorrow.’ He came out, he trained properly and I put him in the team. I think he scored a goal, I think he may have scored two, and it was forgotten.”
“I knew my relationship with Kevin then was never the same. We knew it wasn’t the same kind of spark that we had and whatever, so I knew it was a bit of borrowed time.”