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Bez Lifts the Lid...
 Life with United...and beyond   Part II 

John Beresford
Talks about Charlton, Keegan leaving, winding up Douggie Hall, and Howey's lugs.... .

14/11/1992 - Charlton 1 Newcastle 3 [played at Upton Park.] 

Gavin Peacock, who's Dad played for Charlton scored twice just after his birthday and a rare Steve Howey goal gave us a 3-1 win.

"Rob Lee, who I roomed with at the time was a bit sheepish about this game as his Dad, Reg, had sponsored the game. All the lads and Kevin [Keegan] took the p*ss something rotten. His Dad is involved in a shipping company and we couldn't help but have few digs about how he was the next Onassis. Gavin loved to get the goals and he always wanted to be number one but once or twice this didn't go down too well with the lads. During a home game [Cambridge?] David Kelly headed home a shot from Gav that would probably have gone in. If you watch the tape you can see him turn away in disgust as everyone else jumps on Ned [Kelly]. Its a cliché about being a team game but things like that don't go unnoticed."

I asked John whether he had many United videos and if he ever watched them.

"I've got most of them, although I'm missing a few that had sold out just as I left for Southampton. To be honest, I haven't watched them at all, only because my time at Newcastle is still fresh in my mind and I want to keep those memories for as long as possible. When my kids are older and they ask about when I used to play I'll sit down and watch them and see how it compares to my memories and whether I was any good or not...!"

10/3/1993 - Newcastle 2 Charlton 2

"I don't remember much about this game, although somethings that stick out in my mind were the debuts of Mark Robinson and Scotty Sellars. I was disappointed that Kevin Sheedy's time had come to an end as he was fantastic to play with down the left. However, having a fellow Sheffield lad in Scotty was a great replacement and I think we worked really well for a season or two. In the game, Rob Lee got one right at the start and I remember Steve Howey tripping over the ball and letting in Carl Leaburn."

At this point I couldn't help myself and asked John whether Howey had had his ears pinned during his time at Newcastle - something that an unhealthy delve through the archives had uncovered recently....]

"He did!! How did you know that? Me and Rob Lee first discovered it, although Steve tried to keep it a bit quiet. His ears got infected, though and Steve felt they'd pinned them back a bit too tight. Actually he didn't take that much stick for it, surprisingly, although we did push back the wing mirrors on his car after training one time...."

5/1/97 Charlton 1 Newcastle 1 [FA Cup 3]

We had absolutely no idea what was to follow this game. We knew things weren't great and the Blackburn away game was a real low point. Although you always want the team to do well and I got on well with Robbie Elliott, I'd thought that the Blackburn game might let me back in the team [John had a thigh strain injury that had kept him out for a couple of weeks]. I hadn't trained and kicking a ball was still painful. Kevin wanted a word and I went to see him and Derek Wright the day before the Spurs game. Derek said I needed another week but KK said he wanted me to "liven things up a bit" and that I only needed to "kick a ball 15 yards...". This was one of the biggest boosts I ever had as a player, we had Pedro [Beardsley], Shearer, Les and all the others in the side and here was Keegan telling me I could liven things up. Of course we won 7-1 and I came off thinking, "I must be the difference"....only joking!

After the game, though, Kevin didn't come into the dressing room. Usually after a game like that he'd have a friendly dig at us for not scoring ten but he left the ground and wasn't seen for a day or two. His wife, Jean, was ill but we still felt something wasn't quite right. However, we beat Leeds 3-0 on New Year's Day and everything seemed back to normal.

After the Charlton game KK walked out of a press conference after a someone had upset him [Brian McNally??]. But we still didn't know what was coming. When we drove into training we still had no clue, although there were one or two rumours amongst the lads. Terry and Arthur [McDermott and Cox, not McCann and Daley] called us all together and told us the news. Terry was obviously devastated and the lads just sat in silence. After a while David Batty suddenly piped up, "F***in' hell are we having a minute's silence or what?", which broke the tension. We just went through the motions during training that morning as we were all just stunned.

On Saturday we played at Villa and I'll never forget Arthur's teamtalk that day. It was like Winston Churchill's Dunkirk speech. We went out that day and gave everything against Villa and got a good 2-2 draw. Obviously we wanted to do it for Kevin, Terry, Arthur, the fans and for our own pride. [Fans who were at that game will probably remember the same feeling on the terraces - the nation was looking and laughing at us and fans and players alike showed a fantastic resolve that we'll all remember.]

15/1/97 Newcastle 2 Charlton 1 [FA Cup 3 Replay]

"We had a fair idea that Kenny was going to be the next manager but the player's committee (Rob Lee, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer and myself) were called in by the board. Freddie Shepherd, Doug Hall, Freddie Fletcher, Terry Mac and Arthur Cox were all at the meeting and we were told that Dalglish was about to be offered the job. The board wanted to know what we thought. Obviously Alan was still very close with Kenny and we thought he would come in and keep things the same as Kevin had, so we thought it was fine. However, we asked everyone to leave the room so the players could discuss it. Terry knew what we were up to but we thought we'd pretend that we didn't want Kenny. The board came back in and Les stands up and says, "We don't want him at he club. We just don't think he's right and we're not having him. What do you think about that?

"Doug Hall said, "What do I think about that? I'm f***in' p*ssed off, that's what I think!". We all fell about howling and Doug just sat there and shouted, "You b*****ds!!.

"The Charlton game went to extra-time and at the end of 90 minutes Les legged it down the player's tunnel. We thought he'd forgotten about extra-time or that he had the trots or something. As it turned out he'd gone to find Graham Courtenay (Press Officer) to ask him if he'd go the airport for him. Les had thought we'd win in 90 minutes and had arranged to meet Danni Behr who had flown up!! Extra-time was going to make him late, so Graham saved Les from standing her up!

Niall MacKenzie


Page last updated 24 June, 2009