Keegan reveals return offer

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Kevin Keegan says Liverpool turned-down the chance to re-sign him after he left Hamburg in 1980.

Following a six-year career at Anfield, Keegan moved to Hamburg in 1977, before securing a move to Southampton at the end of the decade, but says before moving to the south coast, Liverpool were offered the opportunity to bring him back.

"It was an option," he said. "I was with Lawrie McMenemy at a charity event the other day and he said he phoned up Peter Robinson, because he wanted me but Liverpool had a clause, but Peter said, 'No, we won't be signing him, definitely, we don't need him'.

"Liverpool had moved on, got different players and partnerships, were just as successful and arguably about to be even more successful.

"In football terms, it's never easy to go back. You've had it happen over the years a couple of times and it's half worked but it's never really the same. My book had been written at Liverpool and it was a nice little book. I had a lot of good fun and a few little downs, which makes a good story."

Keegan not only has an emotional attachment with Liverpool, where he scored 100 goals in 323 appearances, but also with Newcastle United, where a two-year playing career was followed by two spells as manager at St James' Park.

However, while he may be worshipped in the north-east, Keegan says his real calling is on Merseyside.

"I played for and managed Newcastle, my father and all his relatives were from up there, so there was a big pull for me in the north-east. But Liverpool made me, not just as a footballer but as a person. The people I met: Shanks, Tommy Smith, Ian Callaghan, Ron Yeats. All these people you take something from.

"You think, what makes Emlyn Hughes so special on the football field? Fitness. I want to be fit. What makes Tommy Smith so special? He absolutely loves the club. I'll take a bit of that. Taking bits of those people made me. It was a very influential time for me.

"The fans made me. When they started singing my name! What am I, five foot seven with Cuban heeled boots? But [because of them] I was six foot six."

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Kevin Keegan

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