Kevin Keegan book will have '˜embarrassing revelations' for Newcastle owner Mike Ashley

Kevin Keegan has many, many stories to tell.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 4:00 pm
Kevin Keegan

And many of the stories from his forthcoming autobiography will be of interest to Newcastle United fans.

“My Life in Football”, published next month, charts his football career, both as a player and manager, and, crucially, it will deliver what has been described as a “warts-and-all” look at his second spell as manager under Mike Ashley.

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The book’s publication comes as Newcastle fans plan more protests against owner Ashley, who has repeatedly failed to back manager Rafa Benitez in the transfer market.

And the club’s infamous transfer dealings from Keegan’s ill-fated return will be covered in the book, which is published by Macmillan on October 4.

It has been ghostwritten by award-winning journalist Daniel Taylor.

Taylor, chief football writer at The Guardian, said in the Nottingham Forest matchday programme last month: “I’ve spent a lot of time writing about Newcastle United over the last year or so after being approached to take on the role of Kevin Keegan’s ghostwriter and help him put together his memoirs about his life in football.

Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan with Mike Ashley.

“Keegan was in charge of Newcastle during that now-legendary period in the 1990s, when he took over a team that was straying dangerously close to being relegated to the old Third Division, and led them to promotion and the brink of the Premier League title.

“It was one of the most incredible eras of English football, and it has been a pleasure to get to know the man properly and hear, close up, the stories from that time.

“Keegan has always been a great raconteur, full of opinion and insight, and there is actually a measure of sadness on my part that our weekly routine – 10.30am in his front room, with his lovely wife, Jean, bringing in a seemingly endless supply of sandwiches and biscuits – is finished now.

“I will have to keep schtum, for now, about the content – suffice to say there will be plenty of interest in particular from a North East perspective.”

Mike Ashley.

That’s likely to be an understatement.

The Gazette understands that there will be some “embarrassing revelations” in the book, which details what went on behind the scenes, from Keegan’s perspective, during his second spell as manager. The likes of Dennis Wise, Derek Llambias and Tony Jimenez feature in the book, which was written while Ashley was in talks with Amanda Staveley over a sale of the club.

Had the club changed hands, then the book, while fascinating for United supporters, wouldn’t have been so relevant. Given what’s happened over the past few months – Benitez had to sell to buy this summer after refusing to sign a contract extension – the publication of “My Life in Football” will be particularly timely on Tyneside.

Kevin Keegan during his second spell as manager