Kevin Keegan

KK in Hamburg kit, late SevenitesKevin Keegan was my first star footballer. I was too young for George Best and Bobby Charlton. Kevin was the sudden football celebrity when I was becoming aware of such things.

In my home village, which is located in North Warwickshire, most children (most boys as girls didn’t tend to see the point in football back then) would either support Wolves or the Villa as these were the local teams. It wasn’t really done to support a team which you weren’t related to somehow, like now many children support Man U when they have no connection to Manchester simply because it is a high-scoring team. When Kevin Keegan became popular, boys who’d never been north of Cannock in their lives would announce that they supported Liverpool.

I never understood the concept of ‘supporting’ a team actually, and my mum had a phrase that she would use when asked ‘who do you support?’ I support my legs and my legs support me, was something that I would repeat. However, Kevin Keegan was on the news and on the back page of the paper, so even my mum would have to notice him.

There were a lot of boys named Kevin born in the Seventies. A big deal was made of Kevin’s hair and a lot of boys would style their hair as a poodle perm and wear track suits to mimic him. The Liverpool accent, previously only heard on The Liver Birds, became less exotic. A glut of TV shows featuring Liverpool appeared in the early Eighties such as Brookside and Bread, which may be due to Carla Lane ’s success as much as Kevin Keegan being an ambassador for Liverpool. Before he was bought by Hamburg, that is.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


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