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Liverpool Legends: Kevin Keegan

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Liverpool Legends: Kevin Keegan

Barney Corkhill continues to take a look at the illustrious history of the most successful club in English football. In this series, the greatest players from Liverpool's history will be looked at.

Most of them are fan favourites, and most were hugely talented, but all of them are Liverpool Legends.

I should stress that in these articles, I will only focus on their career while at Liverpool.

Today's legend was a huge part of the great Liverpool side of the '70s, and the predecessor to the great Kenny Dalglish. Long before he became Newcastle's "Messiah," he became a legend in the red shirt of Liverpool. He is Kevin Keegan.

In 1971, Bill Shankly brought Keegan to Liverpool from lowly Scunthorpe United for a fee of £35,000. Keegan had impressed as a creative midfielder during his time there, and Shankly saw him as the missing piece of the Liverpool jigsaw.

On 14 Aug., 1971, aged just 20, Kevin Keegan made his Liverpool debut. Twelve minutes after running out in a Liverpool shirt for the first time, Keegan opened his account, scoring his debut goal against Nottingham Forest.

His hard work rapidly made him a fan favourite at Anfield, and it wasn't long before he heard his name being chanted by the Kop. Still a youngster, he had his first taste of success in 1973, when his goals helped Liverpool to the league title, and UEFA Cup success.

It was Liverpool's first league title in seven years, a sign that the glory days of Shankly's '60s team were not quite dead.

Keegan scored twice in the 3-2 aggregate win over Borussia Monchengladbach to clinch the UEFA Cup.

The following year saw another brace in a cup final for the Englishman, this time at Wembley as he helped Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Newcastle in the FA Cup final.

His determination and desire to win were key factors in his success, but they could also get the better of him. One such occasion was in the Charity Shield final of 1974, when FA Cup winners Liverpool came up against league winners Leeds.

Leeds were a rough and tough side, led by Don Revie on the sidelines and Billy Bremner on the pitch. It was the notorious latter with whom Keegan had a confrontation. The scuffle earned Keegan a three-match ban.

1976 was another successful year, very similar in many ways to 1973. After a trophy-less season the previous year, the now Bob Paisley-led Liverpool were once again treated to a double winning season—claiming the league and UEFA Cup again.

This year may have been that bit sweeter for Keegan however, as his performances led to him being named as the PFA Footballer of the Year.

1977 was to be Keegan's last year at Anfield. It had the potential to be a record breaking one as well, as Liverpool were favourites for the league and also reached the FA Cup and European Cup final.

They went on to win the league and, for the first time in his Liverpool career, the European Cup. They just missed out on the historic treble by losing the FA Cup final to archrivals Manchester United.

It was a fitting end to a great Liverpool career, as he left to join Hamburg for a fee of £500,000.

During his time at Liverpool, he scored 100 goals in 323 matches, making hundreds more through his precise passing and hard work. He always gave everything he had for the club, as he has done for every team he has played for.

Kevin Keegan—The Liverpool Legend

 

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