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Kevin Keegan returned to save Newcastle United 30 years ago today

6 months ago
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Kevin Keegan always did things his way at Newcastle United.

We had already seen Keegan the player arrive out of the blue on Tyneside in 1982 to breathe new life into a club that was on its knees, two years later and with promotion achieved, Kevin Keegan left St James Park in a helicopter.

It was a decade later and Kevin Keegan was back, the 5 February 1992 and with Newcastle United arguably in an even worse position than when he first arrived 10 years earlier, Special K was called for to save NUFC once again.

So thirty years ago today, Kevin Keegan took over as manager at Newcastle United with the club staring relegation to the third tier in the face, KK saved NUFC from relegation and then the next season absolutely smashed the second tier and went up as champions.

Issue 48 – March 1993

There then followed brilliant times in the Premier League, finishing third, sixth and second.

Yes, Newcastle United did miss out on winning a trophy under Kevin Keegan but in that 1995/96 season it was a case of KK and NUFC almost winning the Premier League, not a case of losing it.

Yes it was devastating not to win the league after such a meteoric rise and brilliant football but Man Utd finished the season so well, the final 15 games they won 13, drew one and lost only one.

Kevin Keegan and his team were a beautiful triumph of brilliant football and winning so many matches, don’t let anybody tell you different!

Issue 65 – July 1994

Starting the 1996/97 season with two defeats in the first three games, manager Kevin Keegan and his team then clicked into gear, seven Premier League wins in a row.

After 10 matches Newcastle were on 30 points, looking to have every chance of going one better than the previous season.

However, a poor / indifferent run of four draws, four defeats and only one win in the next nine matches, saw Newcastle United in the doldrums.

Typical of Kevin Keegan though, he pulled it around, hammering Tottenham 7-1 on 28 December 1996.

Then another home match coming up on 1 January 1997 with Leeds United the visitors, Newcastle fans hoping that things were back on track and maybe even a title challenge could be resurrected.

Two goals from Alan Shearer and another from Les Ferdinand, the Newcastle United team seemingly fully firing once again.

Despite having watched his team hammer ten goals in their last two matches and Newcastle United in fifth and only five points off the very top, for Kevin Keegan it was time to say farewell.

Issue 96 – January 1997

On 8 January 1997, Kevin Keegan announced his resignation as manager, KK with this short statement explaining why…

“It was my decision and my decision alone to resign.

“I feel I have taken the club as far as I can and that it would be in the best interests of all concerned if I resigned now.

“I wish the club and everyone concerned with it all the best for the future.”

Interesting watching this interview with Kevin Keegan when he brought out his superb autobiography back in 2018:

The club themselves released this statement confirming / announcing the news of his departure back in January 1997:

‘Newcastle United Football Club today announce the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan. Kevin informed the board of his wish to resign at the end of the season, having decided he no longer wishes to continue in football management at this stage in his life. Following lengthy discussions of which the board attempted to persuade Kevin to change his mind, both parties eventually agreed that the best route forward was for the club to, reluctantly, accept his resignation with immediate effect.’

Some 11 years later, Kevin Keegan was to come back to Newcastle United once again, that though was to be a completely different story…

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