No. 43 – Kevin Keegans Debut
Bill Shankly brought Kevin Keegan to Liverpool from lowly Scunthorpe United for a fee of Â£35,000 in 1971 – one of the shrewdest transfer moves ever in the history of Liverpool Football Club. ‘Robbery with violence’ was how Bill Shankly described the capture of Keegan from Scunthorpe, such was the belief that he’d got himself an unbelievable bargain.
Keegan had impressed as a creative midfielder during his time at Scunthorpe and Shankly saw him as the missing piece of the Liverpool jigsaw and a potential replacement for long-serving Ian Callaghan.
However, on 14 August 1971, Keegan made his Liverpool First Division debut in Liverpool’s opening game of the 1971-72 season against newly promoted Nottingham Forest at Anfield in front of 51,427 spectators. BBC’s Match of the Day cameras were at Anfield for Liverpool’s match against Nottingham Forest, unaware that they were witnessing the launch of one of the superstar’s of the decade.
Within minutes of his debut, the Kop quickly realised Bill Shankly had discovered a star of the highest quality. Only 5 feet 8 inches tall, Keegan capped a memorable debut with a fine performance. Just 12 minutes into the game, Keegan scored on his debut, albeit with a mis-hit shot after he failed to control a pass from Peter Thompson.
Three minutes later Tommy Smith converted a penalty while Emlyn Hughes capped a memorable 3-1 win at Anfield. Keegan, forming a formidable partnership with John Toshach quickly established himself as a brave, pacey, incisive goalscorer and fan favourite.
He spent six memorable years at Anfield helping Liverpool win the European Cup, two UEFA Cups, the FA Cup and the League three times….
Liverpools Team v Nottingham Forest
Ray Clemence, Chris Lawler, Alec Lindsay, Tommy Smith, Larry Lloyd, Emlyn Hughes, Kevin Keegan, Peter Thompson, Steve Heighway, John Toshack, John McLaughlin.
Kevin Keegan (12)
Tommy Smith (15)
Emlyn Hughes (55)
Memories of a young 17 year old Kevin Keegan found on youtube!!
Keegans Liverpool Factfile
Debut : 14th August 1971 (Anfield) Liverpool 3 – 1 Nottingham Forest – Division One
First team games : 323
First team goals : 100
Keegan’s Honours with Liverpool :
First Division Championship (1972/73), (1975/76), (1976/77)
FA Cup (1974)
European Cup (1977)
UEFA Cup (1973), (1976)
Charity Shield (1974), (1976)
Footballer of the Year (1976)