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United got rid of me not once - but twice.

PETER Kirkley was for 10 years in full-time employ at Newcastle United - until Kevin Keegan sacked him.

Kirkley was head of recruitment for young players, a job he then went on to do successfully at Middlesbrough after KK peddled him.

When he returned to St James' Park once more his employment was terminated by a man at the other end of the popularity scale to Keegan.

Dennis Wise told Kirkley he was "too old."

"I worked full-time for United from 1983 to 1992 while still keeping my strong links with the boys club of course," recalled Peter.

"I loved it, but when Keegan arrived he wanted some of his own folk in so I got the shove along with Stan Nixon, the best coach I've ever seen.

"By coincidence Bryan Robson had just taken over at Boro and he employed the pair of us. I worked there for six years then returned to Newcastle where this time Wise finished me for a younger man.

"Since when do you have to be young to spot top kids? I thought it was all to do with your eyes and your knowledge."

Peter's Newcastle kids side once won the famed Milk Cup in Northern Ireland by defeating Manchester United's brilliant babes in the final. "We won 2-1 against a Man U team that included David Beckham, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes," smiled Kirkley.

"Afterwards I got a letter from Brian Kidd going on about how we had found such good lads which was nice.

"I actually won the Milk Cup twice with United and then went back and won it with Boro."


| Newcastle United juniors of 1989. Back row l-r Graeme Morton, Gary Foster, Lee Makel, Anthony Cole, |Stephen Watson, Alan Neilson, alan Thompson, Michael Young; front row l-r Peter Kirkley, Steven Lewis, John Watson, Michael English, Lee Clark, Tommy Heron, Darren Cornish, Robert Elliott, John Milner

Peter Kirkley |pictured at the Newcastle United training Academy in Benton in 2005

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 3, 2015
Previous Article:Ice way to learn about sports.

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