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INTERVIEW: Kevin Keegan speaks ahead of Ricoh Arena event next month

Tickets still available for 'An Evening with Kevin Keegan' on 2nd November...

11 October 2017

Ahead of An Evening with Kevin Keegan on 2nd November, we spoke to footballing legend to discuss just some of his playing and management career, and get a sneak preview of what to expect when he is at the Ricoh Arena.

We started by talking about the story that he was on trial with Coventry City in the 60s – and was not successful.

“There were about 100 of us who came along to training sessions at Ryton. This was during the time when Jimmy Hill was Manager. It wasn’t just a trial - I was training with the club for quite a while, and played some games at Stockingford – my Dad worked as mine manager there and I couldn’t play for the club because I hadn’t been signed up. Unfortunately, I didn’t get taken on and they chose someone else instead of me. I had a normal job for 8 months or so, before I then joined Scunthorpe.

It was not Hill who took the training sessions with Keegan, but he was full of praise for the former Sky Blues boss. 

“Jimmy was a revolutionary and innovator. I had the pleasure of working with him at ITV when we were both doing punditry. His thinking was so ahead of what other clubs were doing at that time, things that are taken for granted now.”

Keegan made his name as a player in the 70s and 80s – before money and new technology and stadiums changed the game forever. But Kevin backed himself, and contemporaries, to have still been successful in the modern game.

“Talent is talent in any era. If you put George Best out there now, he would still be the best player. Nowadays the pitches are better, there is the sport science as well, so everything is set for these players.

“The game has changed a lot. There is a lot less tackling and it is harder for defenders – the rule changes are set up for attacking players, which is much better.”

Keegan had the opportunity to work with a number of legendary managers in the game during his decorated domestic and international career, something which helped him for his own time in the hot seat.

“I worked with some great managers, especially at Liverpool where there was the famous ‘Boot Room’. There was Bill Shankly and then Bob Paisley, who was his number two before taking over and winning more trophies than anyone else ever has at Liverpool, and Joe Fagan too. You also had Ronnie Moran, who was a brilliant coach. Those were the days when you didn’t have huge backroom staff, just four or five people.

“I also had two games under Alf Ramsey for England, and then there was Joe Mercer and Ron Greenwood. At Newcastle, there was Arthur Cox as well.

“You learn something from everyone who you work with, both good things and bad. They all have an influence.”

On the topic of Liverpool bosses, Keegan backed the current Reds Manager to be successful in pursuit of a title in the future

“I think they will be up there – not just yet, but soon. I rate Jurgen Klopp a lot. He has really bought into the Liverpool philosophy and the way of playing.”

Keegan himself memorably came close to winning the title in the nineties with Newcastle United, and we wondered if it was something he looked back on with regret – and his answer clearly showed his footballing philosophy.

“I wouldn’t say I regret that season, I’m very proud of what we achieved” said Keegan. “We ran a very good Manchester United side close for the title.”

“If you gave me the choice of winning nothing and being entertaining or winning things and being a boring side, I would choose entertaining.”


Coventry City will be hosting ‘An Evening with Kevin Keegan’, sponsored by Verilan.IT, this November at the Ricoh Arena.

One of the most famous and popular figures in English football, Keegan will be the guest on Thursday 2nd November in the Premium Lounge at the Ricoh Arena where he will speak about his illustrious career as a player and manager.

Places are available to book for £55, which includes three course dining.

To book your place, call Coventry City on 024 7699 1987 (Option 2) or book online here. 

All bookings are subject to a £1 booking fee per ticket plus postage.

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