If you’ve been anywhere near a card shop at any point since mid-January it can’t have escaped your notice that this Saturday is St. Valentines Day. However this day is not solely about making a last ditch run to the local garage for a card, some chocloates and a pathetic bunch of semi-dead daffodills, before an inevitable night on the sofa. No, it is the also the birthday of a Doncaster legend; Kevin Keegan.
Now he may not have donned the red and white hoops, and it may be that Sean O’Driscoll has proved a spectacularly better choice as Rovers manager in view of the past two years, but he is a native of Doncaster. He was born in Armthorpe, he worked at Peglers and I used to live down the road from his mum. He even stood on the Town End Terrace at Belle Vue, but typically never made it onto the pitch as Scunthorpe realised young Keegan’s potential first.
Although he is arguably the most well known Doncastrian to step foot beyond the borough, Kevin Keegan remains a person who it is quite easy to poke fun of. Choosing a video to honour him in the sixteenth instalment of Viva Video was like walking through Willy Wonka’s Chocloate Factory; a raft of incredibly tempting things on display, but you know it would be wrong to get hold of them. So alas, you have been spared that headphoned interview with Sky Sports, and also Keegan’s notorious Head Over Heels single. Also not on show are his Green Cross Code advert, the vaguely homo-erotic Brut ads with Henry Cooper, nor King Kev flying spectacularly from a racing bike on Superstars.
Nope, because in amongst all this (and more), it is easy forget what a fantastic footballer Kevin Keegan was. One of few English players to make a sizable impression on the continent Keegan was European Footballer of the Year… twice. A clinical forward Keegan helped Liverpool to European club glory before a successful stint with Hamburg in West Germany. He returned to England in 1980 and in spells with Southampton and lastly Newcastle averaged more than a goal every other game. He won 63 caps and remains England’s fifteenth highest international goalscorer. And to gain even more respect he left the last match of his playing career, via a helicopter whilst still in his kit. Good work sir.
So impressive, I can’t even bring myself to apologise when I say take it away M-People…