Surprisingly Keith Gillespie Doesn’t Name Shearer As His Hardest Opponent…
A player who has had real highs and lows at Newcastle United and in his life overall, is one Keith Gillespie.
Gillespie’s off the field problems with gambling are well documented and he never repeated the highs on the pitch he experienced at Newcastle.
The so nearly season of 1995/96 saw Ginola and him at the very top of their games, while when picking a single match then the 3-2 against Barcelona must be the one.
In an interview with the Belfast Newsletter, Gillespie gave us the following insights;
I’d say Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United, he got the best out of me with his man management skills. He took me to Newcastle and I loved it there.
Hardest player you played against?
One of my former teammates, David Batty.
Thankfully I was in the same team as him most of the time but I also came up against him. He was a tough tackling midfielder but he was also a good player. I don’t think he got the credit he deserved.
(***On a team trip to Dublin, the players were on a night out and Gillespie spent the night flicking bottle tops at Shearer.
Ironically it was David Batty who revealed afterwards what happened; “Al was saying, ‘Do that one more time and I’ll give you a good hiding’.”
Gillespie kept on doing it and eventually the two players ended up outside and Batty relates the rest;
“We ran out to see Gillespie spark out in the gutter, there was blood everywhere. Allegedly Keith had taken a swing as the two of them made their way towards the rear of the pub and Alan turned around and decked him.”)
The biggest disappointment?
Finishing runners-up with Newcastle in the Premier League, we were so many points clear at one stage but threw it away.
The one I scored for ‘United’ against Newcastle. I cut in from the left and guided a shot into the corner, my dad was at that game so I am sure he was proud.
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