Kevin Keegan

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Kevin Keegan
Image:Keegan England.jpg
Personal information
Full name Joseph Kevin Keegan OBE
Date of birth 14 February 1951 (1951-02-14)
Place of birth    Armthorpe, Doncaster, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current club Newcastle United (Manager)
Youth clubs

Enfield House YC
Scunthorpe United
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Scunthorpe United
Hamburger SV
Newcastle United
Blacktown City Demons
124 0(18)
230 0(68)
090 0(32)
068 0(37)
078 0(48)
002 00(1)
592 (204)   
National team
1972–1982 England 063 0(21)
Teams managed
Newcastle United
Manchester City
Newcastle United

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Joseph Kevin Keegan, OBE (born 14 February 1951 in Armthorpe, Doncaster, England) is a former footballer, former England national team coach and the current manager of Newcastle United. He is widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest English football players. He is the only Englishman to be named European Footballer of the Year twice.

His playing career started at Scunthorpe United in 1968 and by the time he retired in 1984 he was playing for Newcastle United, but the most successful years of his career were spent at Liverpool and Hamburg.

He moved into management at Newcastle United in 1992, where he remained in 1997. After a spell at Fulham he took charge of the England team in 1999 but quit in the autumn of 2000. He then spent four years as manager of Manchester City, and had been out of football for almost three years when he returned to Newcastle United for a second spell as manager in January 2008.

He is one of a very select few managers to have taken two clubs to promotion and then to lead them into Europe.

Life and playing career

Keegan was rejected by local club Doncaster Rovers but made the grade further towards the east coast when Scunthorpe United offered him terms. He made 120 appearances for the club before an offer of £35,000 was accepted from Liverpool manager Bill Shankly in the summer of 1971, the deal was finalised on 10 May.


On 14 August 1971 Keegan made his Liverpool debut against Nottingham Forest at Anfield and after just 12 minutes he scored, albeit with a completely mis-hit shot which was all he could muster after he miscontrolled a pass from Peter Thompson. He quickly established himself as a brave, pacey, incisive goalscorer and fan favourite. Keegan was also being tracked by England, making his debut at under-23 level later in 1971. His full debut wasn't long in coming either; it came in a World Cup qualifier against Wales at Ninian Park the following year. The game finished in a 1–0 victory for the English and, more importantly for Keegan, started him on his way to 63 caps. Keegan's first goal for his country also came in a game against Wales at Ninian Park. This time it was a British Home Championship match that England won 2–0 on 11 May 1974.

In 1973, Keegan won his first domestic honours when he and John Toshack formed the prolific goal-scoring partnership which helped Liverpool win their first League championship in seven years as well as the UEFA Cup. Keegan scored twice in the first leg of the final as Liverpool overcame Borussia Mönchengladbach 3–2 on aggregate. The partnership that he formed with Tosh was almost telepathic at times. One famous piece of commentary by David Coleman emphasises the duo's partnership exactly; all he said was "Toshack, Keegan, one nil." Shoot, the football magazine, got into the act as well, getting Tosh and Keegan to dress up in Batman and Robin costumes for a photo shoot. They were Liverpool's Dynamic Duo.

Late in 1973, Keegan was a substitute as England faced Poland at Wembley, needing to win to secure a place at the World Cup the following summer. With the score at 1-1 and England close to elimination, Keegan started to get changed when he heard manager Alf Ramsey say, "Kevin, get ready". Sadly for Keegan, Ramsey was speaking to Derby County striker Kevin Hector, who was duly introduced as a late substitute and very nearly scored with his first touch. Keegan never got on the pitch, the game ended in a draw and England failed to qualify.

The following year Keegan was again a frequent scorer but Liverpool surrendered the League title to a relentless Leeds United team who had gone unbeaten for a then-record 29 games at the start of the season. However, Liverpool progressed to the FA Cup final. Their campaign in the competition had started with a tie against the club who had spurned Keegan, Doncaster Rovers, and it was their homeboy who scored both goals in a 2–2 draw. Liverpool won the replay. Keegan scored twice more on the way to Wembley, including a stunning lob-volley over the head of England colleague Peter Shilton in the semi-final against Leicester City at Villa Park. In the final, Keegan scored two as Liverpool hammered Newcastle United 3–0 - his first a terrific chest-down and volley from 25 yards after Brian Hall had fooled the Newcastle defence by diving under the ball; his second a far-post stretch and tap-in after great work down the flank between Tommy Smith and Steve Heighway. It was the first brace in an FA Cup final since Mike Trebilcock scored twice for Everton in 1966.

Keegan's next visit to Wembley was three months later in the Charity Shield game, the traditional curtain-raiser to a new season between the League champions and the FA Cup winners. However, Keegan's contribution proved less than charitable - he was sent off, along with Leeds captain Billy Bremner after a scuffle on the pitch. Both players removed their shirts in protest, with Keegan visibly shaken by the decision. The fight was shown that night on BBC television and both were fined £500, with Keegan being suspended for three games and Bremner eight.

The next year saw Keegan scoring goals and representing his club and country with distinction, but 1975 was a trophyless season for Liverpool and England failed to qualify for the 1976 European Championships. There were honours aplenty for Keegan over the next two years, however, as Liverpool again won the League championship and UEFA Cup. Keegan scored in both legs of the final against FC Bruges, although he had only scored once previously during Liverpool's run in the competition.

Outside football, in 1976, Keegan competed in the BBC's television programme Superstars. Despite suffering severe cuts after crashing his bicycle, he insisted on re-racing and secured second place in the event, before going on to win that edition of the programme. He also advertised Brut aftershave alongside boxing legend Henry Cooper.

In 1977, Keegan was instrumental in Liverpool's charge towards an unprecedented "treble" of League championship, FA Cup and European Cup, though he rocked the boat midway through the season when he announced his intention to leave in the summer to try his luck on foreign soil. Nevertheless, Keegan was irrepressible as Liverpool clinched the title and reached the finals of both Cup competitions. Keegan's last appearance in a Liverpool shirt on home soil was a sad one, however, as Liverpool lost the FA Cup final to bitter rivals Manchester United, ruining the "treble" dream. The vintage Liverpool returned for the European Cup final in Rome against Borussia Mönchengladbach four days later and Keegan's last ever Liverpool appearance was a glorious one. He didn't score, but Keegan did make a run late which led to a foul inside the penalty area by Berti Vogts. This led to a coolly dispatched penalty from Phil Neal which sealed a 3–1 win.

After 323 appearances and exactly 100 goals, Keegan left Liverpool as promised. He had been made many offers from clubs on the continent but chose to join Hamburg SV in Germany for £500,000. Liverpool replaced him with a Scotsman by the name of Kenny Dalglish.

Keegan later said, "The only thing I fear is missing an open goal in front of the Kop. I would die if that were to happen. When they start singing ' You'll Never Walk Alone' my eyes start to water. There have been times when I've actually been crying while I've been playing."

In 2006 he was voted in at No.8 in the Liverpool F.C. poll of over 110,000 Liverpool fans, 100 Players Who Shook The Kop.


Hamburger SV won the Bundesliga title for the first time in its history in the 1978–79 season, with Keegan’s unflinching commitment proving decisive. Fans affectionately nicknamed him Mighty Mouse after the cartoon superhero. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979, and played for HSV in the 1980 European Cup final, losing to Nottingham Forest F.C.

His song Head Over Heels in Love, written by Chris Norman and Pete Spencer, was released on 9 June 1979, and peaked at number 31 in the UK charts, but climbed to number 10 in Germany (not only was Keegan based there at the time, but Norman's band Smokie were far more popular there than in their native Britain). He released a second single, England, on his return to England from Germany, but it failed to chart.


On 10 February 1980, Lawrie McMenemy called a press conference at the Potters Heron hotel, Ampfield to announce that the European Footballer of the Year would be joining Southampton F.C. in the forthcoming summer. The news caused shock-waves throughout the world of football and around the city of Southampton. The club's fans found it hard to believe that their little club had attracted a player of such pedigree. The club were beginning to become established in the top division, but this signing showed how persuasive their manager could be, especially when Keegan captained England in the 1980 European Championships in Italy.

Keegan made his Southampton debut at Lansdowne Road in a friendly against Shamrock Rovers on 23 July 1980. Keegan's speed and intelligence combined with fitness and determination enabled him to overcome his lack of natural ability. Keegan's two seasons at The Dell were the most enjoyable in the club's history, being part of a flamboyant team also containing Alan Ball, Phil Boyer, Mick Channon and Charlie George and in 1980–81 Saints scored 76 goals, finishing in 6th place, then their highest league finish.

In the following season, Keegan was able to produce some of his best form and at the end of January 1982 Saints sat proudly at the top of the Division 1 table, but a run of only three wins from the end of February meant a rather disappointing 7th place finish. Despite this, Keegan was voted the PFA Player of the Year, and awarded the OBE for services to Association Football. Keegan had scored 26 of the team's 72 goals and was voted the club's Player of the Year.

He finally reached a World Cup when England got to the 1982 finals in Spain. He was duly named in the squad for the tournament but was suffering from a chronic back injury and was unfit to play in all of England's group games. In a last, desperate effort to play in a World Cup (he knew that he would not be around for the 1986 competition) he secretly hired a car and drove from Spain to a specialist he knew in Germany for intensive treatment. It worked to the extent that he came on as a substitute for a crucial second round pool game against the host nation which England had to win. Unfortunately, his few minutes of World Cup football will be forever remembered for a point blank header which he directed wide with the goal at his mercy.

When Bobby Robson became the new England coach after that World Cup, Keegan was left out of his first squad, a decision he learned of from the media rather than Robson himself. Keegan expressed his public displeasure and never played for his country again. He won a total of 63 caps (and almost certainly would have won considerably more had it not been for England's inability to qualify for three major tournaments during Keegan's international career) and scored 21 goals. He captained his country 31 times.

Keegan had fallen out with McMenemy over the manager's failure to strengthen Southampton's defence (which leaked 67 goals in 1981–82) whilst the team was at the top of the table. There were also rumours that McMenemy had charged the whole team of cheating after a 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa in April 1982 to which Keegan took great exception. Although Keegan joined Saints' next pre-season tour, he had already decided to move on to seek a new challenge, and a few days before the start of the 1982–83 season he signed for Second Division Newcastle United for a fee of £100,000.

Newcastle United

Keegan joined Newcastle United and spent two seasons there, during which time he was extremely popular with the supporters. He played 78 times, scored 48 goals and helped them to promotion from the Second Division in 1984, within a team which also contained Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Terry McDermott. His contribution to Newcastle's promotion, which ended their six-year exile from the First Division, earned him iconic status on Tyneside.

Keegan announced his retirement prior to the end of the 1983-1984 season. His last league game came against Brighton and Hove Albion, scoring in a 3-1 victory. Keegan's final appearance for Newcastle came in a friendly against Liverpool some days later, leaving the pitch in a helicopter whilst still dressed in his kit. He moved with his family to Spain and vowed never to enter football management, although he did carry out occasional work as a football pundit for British television.

In April 1991 he was attacked while sleeping in his Range Rover by the M25 at Reigate Hill in Surrey. His assailants later admitted in court that they needed money for a drugs debt and had no idea they were attacking Kevin Keegan.


Keegan made his England debut on 15 November 1972 in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Wales. He scored his first international goal in his third appearance, also against Wales, on May 11, 1974. He scored 21 goals in total for his country in 63 games. He was given the captaincy by manager Don Revie in 1976 after Gerry Francis fell from favour. He retained the captain's armband until his international retirement after the 1982 World Cup.

He only managed one World Cup appearance though, after England failed to qualify for both the 1974 and 1978 tournaments. His World Cup experience was limited to just 26 minutes after injury wrecked his chance in England's 1982 campaign. He recovered sufficiently to appear in their final game against hosts Spain, during which he famously missed a headed chance to break the deadlock.

Managerial career

Newcastle United

On 5 February 1992, almost eight years after his final game as a player, Kevin Keegan returned to football as manager of Newcastle United. They had been relegated from the top flight in 1989 and narrowly missed out on promotion in 1990, but in 1991 they had failed to make the playoffs and at several stages in 1991-92 they had occupied bottom place in the Second Division. Promotion to the forthcoming new Premier League had long been forgotten. Following the dismissal of previous manager Ossie Ardiles, Keegan was appointed to simply keep Newcastle clear of relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time.

Survival was achieved and Newcastle would be playing in the new Division One for the 1992-93 season. Most observers tipped Newcastle to finish higher than the 20th position they had occupied the previous season, but a 11-match winning start to the season saw them establish themselves as most people's favourites for the Division One title by October. They led the league virtually all season long, and the club record signing of Bristol City striker Andy Cole in February further strengthened their side; Cole netted 12 goals in the club's final 12 games. The addition of Charlton Athletic's Robert Lee bolstered the midfield.

Newcastle were promoted to the Premier League as Division One champions, and Keegan was determined to establish Newcastle among the very best.

Top scorer David Kelly and influencial midfielder Gavin Peacock were both sold during the close season, and Keegan brought legendary striker Peter Beardsley back to Newcastle from Everton, six years after he had been sold by Newcastle to Liverpool.

1993-94 was an enormous success for Newcastle as they finished third in the Premier League and qualified for the UEFA Cup, bringing European football to the club for the first time since the 1970s. Andy Cole was the Premier League's top scorer with 34 goals from 40 games, and managed a club record total of 41 goals in all competitions.

Keegan then strengthened his side by signing Swiss World Cup defender Marc Hottiger, Belgium's defensive midfielder Phillippe Albert, and Norwich City's quick winger Ruel Fox.

Newcastle won their first six games of the 1994-95 season to top the league and they appeared capable of winning their first league title since 1927. But the departure of Andy Cole to Manchester United in January weakened their attack, and sixth place in the final table wasn't enough for even another UEFA Cup campaign.

Keegan made several important additions to the Newcastle side in the summer of 1995; Reading goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, Paris St Germain's French winger David Ginola, QPR striker Les Ferdinand and Wimbledon defender Warren Barton.

Newcastle performed brilliantly in the first half of the 1995-96, going 10 points ahead on 23 December 1995 and regaining a similar lead in January. But a 1-0 defeat at the hands of fellow title challengers Manchester United cut the gap to one point on 4 March, and within two weeks Newcastle's lead was overhauled and they were unable to recover it, with a 1-1 draw for Newcastle against Tottenham on the final day of the season handing the title to Manchester United, whose 3-0 triumph at Middlesbrough would have won them the title regardless of Newcastle's result against Tottenham.

Keegan then broke the world transfer fee record by signing Blackburn and England striker Alan Shearer. Shearer made an instant impact on his native Tyneside, despite being on the losing side on his debut; a 4-0 FA Charity Shield defeat at the hands of Manchester United, and scored two months later in a 5-0 drubbing of United in the Premier League. Newcastle briefly topped the league at several stages in the first half of the season, but on 7 January 1997 Keegan shocked the footballing world by announcing his resignation as manager.

He was succeeded by Kenny Dalglish, ironically the same man who had replaced him as a player at Liverpool 20 years earlier, but Newcastle were unable to win the title and in the subsequent four seasons finished outside the top 10 in the Premier League, although they were FA Cup runners-up twice.


Keegan returned to football on 25 September 1997 as "Chief Operating Officer" (a similar role to a Director of Football) at Division Two club Fulham, with Ray Wilkins as head coach. Fulham finished sixth in the final table, but Wilkins was sacked just before the first leg of the playoff semi-final and Keegan took over as manager.

Keegan was unable to inspire Fulham to overcome Grimsby Town in the playoffs, but superb form in 1998-99 - helped by the acquisition of many players who would normally have been beyond the budgets of most Division Two clubs - clinched them the Division Two title and promotion to Division One, but Keegan quit at the end of the season to concentrate on his duties as England manager, having succeeded Glenn Hoddle in February 1999.

Meanwhile, Fulham replaced Keegan with Paul Bracewell.


Keegan was named new England coach in February 1999 succeeding Glenn Hoddle. He led the team for a winning start with 3-1 win over Poland to reignite England's Euro 2000 qualifying campaign.

After an initial popular period as manager, he began to come under fire for his perceived tactical naivety. This came to a head during the unsuccessful Euro 2000 campaign, as England beat Germany, but lost 3–2 to both Romania and Portugal, despite having the lead in both games. The defeat against Romania ended their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-final.

Keegan resigned as England coach on October 7, 2000, after England lost to a Dietmar Hamann goal for Germany in their first 2002 World Cup qualifier in the last game to be played at Wembley Stadium before the old stadium was rebuilt. Keegan won only 38.9% of his games in charge, making him statistically the least successful permanent England manager (although unlike Don Revie (1974-1977) or Steve McClaren (2006-2007), Keegan achieved qualification to a major tournament for England).

When Sven-Göran Eriksson became England manager, Eriksson appointed the 64-year old Tord Grip as his assistant. This caused Keegan to complain that when he was England manager, the FA had told him that he couldn't have Arthur Cox as his assistant because at 60, Cox was too old. Keegan went on, "I wasn't allowed to bring in the people I wanted and that was wrong. Mr Eriksson was and I'm delighted for him because that's the way it should be."

Manchester City

On May 24, 2001, Keegan returned to football as successor to Joe Royle at Manchester City, who had just been relegated from the Premier League.

Keegan signed experienced international players such as Stuart Pearce, Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia. In the club's most successful season for years, City were promoted as champions after scoring 124 goals in all competitions, including 58 from Shaun Goater and Darren Huckerby.

In preparation for his second season as manager (2002–03) he signed Nicolas Anelka, Peter Schmeichel and Marc-Vivien Foé. This season was again exciting as City won at Anfield and took four points off Manchester United, but conceded five goals at Stamford Bridge and at home to Arsenal, before finishing ninth in the Premier league. He also guided City into the UEFA Cup, qualifying via the UEFA Fair Play ranking. Anelka remained at the club after the season finished, but Schmiechel retired from playing and Foé died on 26 June after collapsing in an international fixture for Cameroon.

For 2003-04, the club's first season at the new City of Manchester Stadium ( Eastlands), Keegan signed more players including Paul Bosvelt, David Seaman and Michael Tarnat. Despite Keegan falling out with Berkovic, City started well and were fifth in the league on 5 November. There was much optimism that City could qualify for the UEFA Cup or even the Champions League.

Keegan's City team did well in the UEFA Cup tie against Belgian bronze club Lokeren, winning over two legs, proving that Keegan and City deserved their place in the UEFA Cup. However, a disappointing draw at home to Polish minnows Groclin led to their elimination from the UEFA Cup and a slump in form. City did not win again in the league until 21 February, and finished 16th in the league, although there was a reminder of Keegan's better times away to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup on 4 February 2004; despite going in at half time 3–0 behind and with ten men after Joey Barton was sent off, Keegan's team came back to win 4–3.

2004-05 brought better form for Manchester City, but Keegan agreed to leave as manager on the 10 March 2005 after expressing to the chairman a wish to retire from football at the end of the season. The club went on to finish eighth under his successor Stuart Pearce, and only missed out on a UEFA Cup place when Robbie Fowler missed a penalty in stoppage time of a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on the last day of the season.

The return to Newcastle

After declaring his retirement from football in 2005, Keegan remained out of the media spotlight, working at the 'Soccer Circus' football school in Glasgow. In October 2007, he indicated he was unlikely to manage again. However, on 16 January 2008 Keegan made a largely unexpected return to Newcastle United as replacement for the sacked Sam Allardyce.. His first task was to choose a club captain. He decided to give the arm band to Michael Owen, stating "Michael is the right man for the job." Keegan had a disappointing first 9 games back at Newcastle, he hadn't won a single match. However on March 22nd, Keegan achieved his first victory of his second managerial spell, in a 2-0 win against his former club, Fulham, his first win as Newcastle manager since beating Leeds United on 07-01-1997. One of the goal scorers was his chosen captain, Owen. He celebrated by embracing close confidante Terry McDermott.


Keegan was made an Inaugural Inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as both a player and manager.

Honours as a player

Flag of England Liverpool


  • 1972–73 League Championship (Level 1)
  • 1972–73 UEFA Cup
  • 1973–74 FA Cup
  • 1974–75 Charity Shield
  • 1975–76 League Championship (Level 1)
  • 1975–76 UEFA Cup
  • 1976–77 Charity Shield
  • 1976–77 League Championship (Level 1)
  • 1976–77 European Cup

Runner Up

  • 1973–74 League Championship (Level 1)
  • 1974–75 League Championship (Level 1)
  • 1976–77 FA Cup

Flag of Germany Hamburg SV


  • 1978–79 German Bundesliga
  • World Soccer Player of the Year: 1979

Runner Up

Flag of England Newcastle United


  • 1983–84 Football League Second Division (Level 2) Promotion

Honours as manager

Flag of England Newcastle United


  • 1992–93 Football League First Division (Level 2)

Runner Up

Flag of England Fulham


  • 1998–99 Football League Second Division (Level 3)

Flag of England Manchester City


  • 2001–02 Football League First Division (Level 2)


Playing statistics

Club Performance
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Newcastle United 1983-84 41 27 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 44 28
1982-83 37 21 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 41 21
Southampton 1981-82 41 26 1 1 2 1 4 2 0 0 48 30
1980-81 27 11 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 32 12
Club Season First Bundesliga German Cup Liga Cup Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Hamburger SV 1979-80 31 9 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 31 9
1978-79 34 17 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 34 17
1977-78 25 6 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 25 6
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Liverpool 1976-77 38 12 8 4 2 0 8 4 1 0 57 20
1975-76 41 12 2 1 3 0 11 3 0 0 57 16
1974-75 33 10 2 1 3 0 3 1 1 0 42 12
1973-74 42 12 9 6 6 1 4 0 0 0 61 19
1972-73 41 13 4 0 8 5 11 4 0 0 64 22
1971-72 35 9 3 2 1 0 3 0 0 0 42 11
Scunthorpe United 1970-71 45 10 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 52 11
1969-70 46 6 7 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 54 9
1968-69 33 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 35 2
Total 590 203 50 19 36 9 44 14 2 0 722 245

Managerial statistics

As of 22 March 2008

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Newcastle United Flag of England February 5, 1992 January 8, 1997 251 138 62 51 54.98
Fulham Flag of England May 7, 1998 May 9, 1999 61 38 11 12 62.29
England Flag of England February 1999 October 7, 2000 18 7 7 4 38.89
Manchester City Flag of England May 24, 2001 March 11, 2005 176 77 60 39 43.75
Newcastle United Flag of England January 16, 2008 Present 10 1 3 6 10.00
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