Sixty five years ago this week, at an unremarkable brick-built house in the South Yorkshire mining village of Armthorpe, a tot was born who would go on to become a worldwide superstar.
That baby was Kevin Keegan, who went on to become one of the biggest names in football in the ’70s and ’80s, enjoying a glittering career with Liverpool and England, among others.
Born on Valentine’s Day 1951 at 32 Elm Place, to English parents of part Irish ancestry, he attended St Peter’s High School in nearby Cantley.
At the age of 16, Keegan was spotted playing at amateur level for Pegler, his employer at the time, and signed by Fourth Division Scunthorpe United – one of just two professional sides in the division.
Reputedly rejected by Doncaster Rovers for being too small, Keegan became a first- team regular and scored 18 goals in 124 games, attracting the attention of Liverpool , with legendary boss Bill Shankly snapping him up for£ 35,000 in 1971.
The move proved to be the beginning of the soccer star’s rise to fame – and becoming a global icon of the game.
During a glittering spell with the Reds, he won three First Division titles, the UEFA Cup twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup and also became an England regular, making his debut in 1972, becoming captain in 1976 and scoring 21 goals for his country in 63 games – although his World Cup career was limited to just 26 minutes at the 1982 finals in Spain.
Further successful spells followed at Hamburg, Southampton and Newcastle before he made the step into management, taking the reins at Newcastle (twice), Fulham and Manchester City and of course, England, who he managed from 1999-2000.
His infamous “love it” rant against Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson as he struggled to cope with the pressure at Newcastle titlting for the Premier League title in 1996 made headlines around the globe.
Now a TV pundit, he still makes regular visits to Doncaster where he remains a hometown hero.