Football Anecdotes – Kevin Keegan At Centre Parcs

It was May 2008 and I was staying at Centre-Parcs in the Lake District. It was a boy’s holiday; yes it was an odd destination for that. During our week away I celebrated my 24th birthday, although that was not the reason we were away, plus Rangers were in Manchester to face Zenit St Petersburg in a UEFA Cup final. Did I want to go to Manchester? Yes but I had already committed to the trip and would have had nowhere to stay, looking back I am glad with the decision I took as I didn’t need any riots.

Plus while we were there a football circus was opening in the resort and the guest of honour was Liverpool, Hamburg and England legend Kevin Keegan who was staying for the weekend. King Kev was back managing Newcastle at the time and any time we saw him my mates and myself were quite loudly saying ‘Don’t buy Carlos Cuellar’. Little did we know that Kevin had as much say on Newcastle’s transfers as we did.

I was very domesticated on this trip and I was the member of the house that took the bins out. During one such visit to the big Biffa bins at the end of our cul-de-sac I spotted Mr Keegan cycling past with his daughter. As they past me I heard his daughter ask Papa Kev ‘So when was the last time you were on a bike dad?’ To which he responded ‘oh quite a few years ago.’ As soon as she had asked her question the comedy clip of Kevin falling of his bike in a Superstars show decades before hand popped up into my head but unfortunately I had not time to remind the man himself as he was already away. YouTube Video of the Superstars incident is at the bottom of this article.

The only other time our paths crossed was on the Sunday night. My friends and myself had booked a table of five for seven o’clock. We arrived at five to seven and we were still waiting at ten past. Then in came Keegan, with his family. He noticed we knew who he was and said a friendly “Alright lads” but before we could respond he got the VIP treatment and was taken to his table, no waiting around for him. A pal and myself were not impressed by this from waiting staff but not Kevin’s fault.

On the day of the UEFA Cup final I wore my Rangers strip and it certainly didn’t give me any luck, first my team lost and then as a fellow Ger was coming out of the toilet he seen my shirt and shook my hand…. Not want any guy wants to do at that time!

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