David Kelly – Legend
David Kelly scoring against Portsmouth, 25 April 1992.
A moment that will be etched on my brain forever.
The Keegan revival had stalled as the sheer scale of the challenge became apparent, this was a game that Newcastle simply had to win if there was to be a realistic chance of avoiding the third tier.
He left it late but when Kelly scored at the Gallowgate end in the 86th minute, the place erupted.
The final home match of the season, Newcastle then beat promotion chasing Leicester 2-1 away from home to guarantee survival. However, without David Kelly and especially that goal against Portsmouth, very likely that as Newcastle fans we would have joined Sunderland supporters in terms of finding out what life was like in the third tier. Whilst the Kevin Keegan era may indeed have ended in May 1992 and what followed for us as NUFC supporters, ended up very different…
Mention the name David Kelly to anybody who was around in the early 90s and their eyes will light up.
A talented player and one of those the supporters really identified with.
Phenomenal workrate, scored goals, and was clearly somebody who loved playing for Newcastle United.
He was there at the very start of the Kevin Keegan revolution, signed by Ossie Ardiles and scoring 11 goals in 25 second tier games to help save Newcastle from relegation.
Top scorer in the 1992/93 promotion season but David Kelly was sold on at the end of the season, Kevin Keegan showing his ruthless/brave side, as he sold the three strikers who had been top scorers the past three seasons – Kelly, Peacock and Quinn.
KK then put Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley together and the rest, as they say, is history.
However, the fans never forgot David Kelly, incredible scenes when later coming back with Sunderland, Newcastle supporters gave Kelly a standing ovation when he came off the bench. Quite amazing considering he was now playing for the Mackems.
Neither though has David Kelly forgot about Newcastle United and often commented during the Mike Ashley era, including below back in September 2018, about the shameful running of the club this past decade and a half.
Today (25 November 2021) it is a very happy 56th birthday to David Kelly, a real Newcastle United legend to so many of us who were around back in the early 1990s.
David Kelly – September 2018:
“I agree with Rafa 100%, it saddens me to see Newcastle struggling but it doesn’t surprise me…
“Of course they have had a tough run of fixtures, but the problems go back to the transfer business done, or rather not done, in the summer.
“Rafa quite correctly talks about the teams Newcastle have to compete with if they are to survive but worryingly, the likes of Cardiff, Burnley, Palace and Fulham have all spent more money.
“And Wolves, who I see quite a bit of these days, are reaping the rewards of investing heavily. It’s not rocket science.
“The harsh reality is that Rafa has not been backed and for the club to stay up, there has to be huge backing in January.
“When I left, Newcastle were on their way up and became one of the biggest clubs in the country.
“They should still be there. I mean no disrespect to the likes of Burnley, Palace and Fulham, but Newcastle are in a different league.
“Instead, they’re the ones they are competing with just to stay up and in terms of ambition, they’re lagging behind all of them.”
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