Remember Kevin Keegan?

The memory is a big storehouse whose dusty odds and ends occasionally turn up by chance or strange coincidence. Why else would I have thought about Kevin Keegan last week?

I was hosting a live radio program when I interviewed a reporter named Keegan Kyle. It’s a strange name, which seems to have the first and last names turned around. So it was no surprise, as I was back-announcing his name after the interview, that I muffed it. I called him Kevin Keegan.

Kevin Keegan in his prime.

But who is Kevin Keegan and why did I give the name to Keegan Kyle? The answer soon came to me. Kevin Keegan was a British soccer star who played for Hamburg, Germany’s pro team in 1978 when I lived there as a high-school exchange student.

Kevin Keegan has not come to my mind for — literally — decades. But while groping for a reporter’s odd name he emerged from my subconscious and leapt effortlessly from my lips.

Kevin Keegan played for Hamburger Sport Verein (HSV) in the late seventies after being a star for Liverpool earlier in the decade. When he played for Hamburg he had a big fluffy perm (it WAS the 70s) and many Hamburg teenage girls fell in love with him.

Another strange coincidence comes from this story. A colleague who also works at KPBS in San Diego heard my interview flub on the air, and it triggered a series of memories for her as well. She grew up in England and says Keegan visited her school when she was a kid.

Afterward, she got her picture taken with him. He put his arm around her for the photo and she thought it was creepy. She claims she still have the photo somewhere.

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One Comment on “Remember Kevin Keegan?”

  1. therustle Says:

    I remember that little ‘flub’ on-air and it’s funny to hear the genesis of it..another reason to love the realness of public radio.


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