Terry McDermott has lifted the lid on Kevin Keegan, Newcastle United and that near miss of ’96.

Keegan’s former assistant says that he knew nothing about Keegan getting the job and was then actually offered the post as his sidekick when he rang up Micky Quinn for a racing tip!

“I used to go training at Melwood (Liverpool’s training ground) just to keep fit in my forties and used to leave before the team arrived. We didn’t want people to think we were just hanging around to try and get a job.

“When I got home one day, I was told Kevin Keegan had got the job at Newcastle, I couldn’t believe it.

“I actually rang Micky Quinn up for a tip and it was the physio who answered, he said he had somebody who wanted to speak to me.

“I thought it was Micky but it was Kevin, he asked me if I fancied coming up and explained we would only be there for three months – I didn’t need to be asked twice.”

Talking on Sky’s Football Fantasy Club, Terry Mac says that Keegan was always willing to listen and take onboard other people’s thoughts:

“He (Kevin Keegan) said he would ring later that night but two days later he hadn’t rang. Then Graeme Souness (Liverpool manager at the time) said there might be a job at Liverpool but not until the end of the season – next thing, Kevin did ring and offered me the job for three months…I was there for eight years.

“Kevin would listen to you, he wasn’t the kind of manager who said that what he says goes, I had a great relationship with him. Obviously he’d have the last word but then he was the manager.”

terry mcdermott

Wish done anything different in 1996 Premier League run-in?:

“The football we played, I’ve never seen anything like it. I know there have been the Arsenals, the Chelseas and Manchester Uniteds since…and even Liverpool before – but for a year or two we played football that I seen the likes of before or since.

“I don’t think we did anything wrong really and the players we brought in, David Batty and Faustino Asprilla, they were our two best players. It was others who didn’t play as well as they could (in the run-in).

“The game where we didn’t win the league was the 4-3 at Liverpool. We were actually told before the match that Liverpool were going to let us win so that Manchester United wouldn’t win it. That of course was never going to happen.”



  • Christinehodge2

    NUFCTheMag empireofthekop thisisanfield i don’t get what he is doing back at Anfield #LFC

  • Albert27

    The debate of 96. Ive thort about it for 18 years. Where we went wrong. Not tino or batty. We let sellars and fox go too early. We could have kept our shape we we lost ginola and gillespie. We kept them two i think we could have won the title.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    Albert27 SBR – if only the bloke wasn’t such a gent and had ditched Barca (yeah I know how that sounds) for us when KK left – with that team and position I think the outcome would have been inevitable. Instead we ended up with Dalglish then Souness etc and that was our moment seemingly lost forever.

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    In my opinion, there are two real reasons why we failed to win the league that year.
    Foremost in my mind was Ginola’s dip in form over the last couple of months. I attribute that entirely to the game we lost at Arsenal in the League Cup in February, in which first Winterburn cynically brought Ginola down and, already on a yellow and seeing referee Ashby reach for his pocket for a card, began walking to the tunnel in anticipation of being sent off, only to find Ashby waving instead the yellow card at Ginola for diving. After that, Ginola was sufficiently wound up it was inevitable he was going to deck one or other of the Arsenal fullbacks and, sure enough, that’s exactly what he did (Lee Dixon) earning himself a straight red and a suspension to follow. David Ginola was never the same after that.
    Secondly, I think the introduction of David Batty was significant. I fully understand Keegan’s reasons for bringing in Batty, to add that element of steel to help us kill off games and keep the midfield solid. Indeed, I think David Batty did exactly what was asked of him, and admirably so. However, what we gained with Batty did not compensate nearly as much for what we lost by no longer having Lee Clark in the team, for Clarky had a much more positive and direct attacking influence from the midfield and, in truth, had barely put a foot wrong that season.
    As for Tino,I hold the opposite view and believe that if it wasn’t for Tino coming in, we wouldn’t have taken the fight for the title to the very last game.

  • Toon Magpie

    We had colour film back in ’96 use it, i don’t like the use of turning colour photos to black and white to represent past.

  • nev fur

    At last someone else agrees with me. Sadly it was keegan who decided to let them go and despite fan pressure stuck with playing one winger after the return of ginola and Gillespie even though playing the two wingers was the format that had got us 12 points clear so in effect he lost the title himself. However it was keegan who got us so close, played fantastic football and created massive fun and excitement so I won’t ever berate him for it. Fantastic times that will sadly never return under the present regime. Was probably the only real chance to win the title in my lifetime

  • Albert27

    Agree 100%. Tino gave us a boost. That treatment of ginola by bruce riochs disgusting team is the worst ive seen in football. As for clarkie – u r tight. Batty was great however clarkies energy, movement and constant want to play the ball around was missed. I only wish after ginolas red we had sellars to step in. And gillespies injury we cud bring in fox. I cant slate keegan cos how often did he make a bad decision about team selection?

  • nufcslf

    Tino coming in lost the league all day long. There was absolutely no reason to change a thing and he simply wasn’t needed. Great player on his day and should have been in to strengthen a team that would have been league champions if it wasn’t for him.

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    Albert27
    To me, Scott Sellars must be one of the most underestimated players we’ve ever had on our books. Such a sweet left foot.

  • newcastle7

    It was Batty who lost us the league.We had played thirteen home games and won the lot conceding
    only three goals if I remember correctly.Then Keegan brings in Battey and drops Lee Clark a man who
    got the ball fast to the forwards .Battey went sideways or backwards and our home form suffered.
    Will never forgive Keegan for droping Lee Clark.

  • CMRowley

    newcastle7 Lee Clark shouldn’t have been dropped as he did nothing wrong, but Batty is certainly not to blame for losing the title that season.

    KK tinkered with a team that didn’t need tinkering with, he brought in Tino and insisted on making a place for him in the team.  When he signed him he said it was for cover.  If he’d stuck with that then we’d have gone on a won the league, no doubt about it.  He insisted on playing Tino, disrupted the balance of the team and we started to go down hill.

  • Sickandtiredstill

    newcastle7 You’ll never forgive KK, yet week after week and season after season you idolise Ashley. Brains of a rocking horse.