Kevin KEEGAN (1951-)

Kevin Keegan
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Kevin Keegan, footballer, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews – concealed in a giant football – at his daughter’s christening party in a central London hotel.

Kevin began his playing career at Scunthorpe United in 1968, before moving to Liverpool in 1971, where he won three First Division titles, the UEFA Cup twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup.

He gained his first England cap in 1972, and captained the team for the first time in 1976. He moved to the West German club Hamburger SV in the summer of 1977, and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979.

Kevin has been described as "arguably the first superstar English player to attract the modern media spotlight".

“I've never known anything like it in my life!”

Screenshots of Kevin Keegan This Is Your Life

The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls the experience of this particular edition of This Is Your Life in his book This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...

England’s Kevin Keegan had just been voted European Footballer of the Year when we surprised him on 4 February 1979 – at the christening party for his daughter, Laura Jane. A huge christening cake, on a trolley, was pushed into the hotel reception by Liverpool and England team mates Emlyn Hughes, Phil Neal, Mick Channon, Ray Clemence, Phil Thompson, Ray Kennedy and Ian Callaghan. From inside the cake sprang Eamonn Andrews to surprise the proud father.

Kevin was playing for Hamburg by that time, and his team mate Horst Bertl explained that the supporters had christened Kevin ‘Machtig Maus’ – ‘Mighty Mouse’.

But who was the ‘scout’ who spotted him in the first place? The headmistress of his tiny primary school in Yorkshire, Sister Mary Oliver. She had written in the scrap of a lad’s school report: ‘Kevin’s football must be encouraged.’ After that, the other nuns called her ‘STS’ – ‘Soccer Talent Spotter’.

Kevin’s boyhood hero, Billy Wright – 106 caps for England and another Life subject, thanks to his wife Joy and sisters Teddy and Babs of the Beverley Sisters – was there. So was another former Life soccer subject, a legendary player and manager of Liverpool.

‘Many people have helped me on my way, but only one person made me,’ said Kevin. And on came Bill Shankly.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 511
  • Subject No: 508
  • Broadcast date: Wed 14 Feb 1979
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Sun 4 Feb 1979
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 19
  • Edition: 17
  • Code name: Mighty

on the guest list...

  • Doris – mother
  • Mike – brother
  • Mary – sister
  • Russell – brother-in-law
  • Lynsey - niece
  • Sharon - niece
  • Mick Channon
  • Emlyn Hughes
  • Phil Neal
  • Ray Clemence
  • Phil Thompson
  • Ray Kennedy
  • Ian Callaghan
  • Jean - wife
  • Sister Mary Oliver
  • Horst Bertl
  • Carol Bertl
  • David Anderson
  • Morris Freedman
  • Willie Nimmo
  • Billy Wright
  • John Brown
  • Phillip Ackroyd
  • Harry Holland
  • Mick Armstrong
  • Len Berry
  • Dave Ricks
  • Bob Nellis
  • Jack Brownsword
  • The Fourmost
  • Brian O’Hara
  • Tom O’Connor
  • Bill Shankly
  • Molly Woodhouse – mother-in-law
  • Laura Jane – daughter

external link...

production team...

  • Researchers: Tony Lee, Vivien Lind
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 19 subjects: Alice Goldberger > Michael Parkinson > Mary O'Hara > Barbara Kelly > Terry Scott > Jimmy Shand > Eric Newby > Patricia Neal > David Bellamy > Muhammad Ali > Vera Lynn > Naomi James > Leslie Thomas > James Galway > Elaine Paige > Lord Lovat > Kevin Keegan > Stephane Grappelli > Robert Powell > Shirley Crabtree > Peter Barkworth > Robert Law > Dinah Sheridan > JPR Williams > Joyce Pearce > Ian Ogilvy > Margaret Kelly