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Peter is still the Guv'nor.

RON BONE and Newcastle United's top talent-spotter Peter Kirkley are best friends locked in a mutual admiration society.

Bone originally worked for Kirkley at United and then returned the favour by employing Peter when he and coach Stan Nixon were sacked by Kevin Keegan in the early 90s.

"I still look upon Peter as The Guv'nor," maintained Ron.

Bone's long journey began in 1980 when he formed Hilda Park Juniors - he is now their president.

He quickly established his reputation at a club where the fans on the touchline were more famous than those on the field of play. "It was like a Who's Who of football," laughed Ron.

Bone's side included Ian Bowyer's son Gary, Irving Nattrass's son Paul, Colin Todd's son Andy, Richie Pitt's son Stephen, and Bruce Rioch's son Gregor.

The first approach to move into pro football came from Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest - but ended disastrously.

On the day Bone was going to travel to Nottingham he received a phone call from a club official who said: "Brian Clough has decided he's spent enough money on scouting so there's no need to come down."

Instead, Ron joined Kirkley at St James's Park, but when Rioch phoned to offer him the youth development officer's job at Boro there was a reluctant parting of the ways.

Keegan's streamlining of United behind the scenes when he was first appointed manager saw him ditch the reserves and terminate the employment of Kirkley and Nixon.

Bone took them on, and while Peter eventually returned to St James's Park, Stan has remained a Boro coach to this day.

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OLD PAL: Peter Kirkley
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2008
Words:273
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