There’s an interesting story of the day when Keith Gillespie signed for Newcastle United back in 1995. The Northern Irishman didn’t have an agent at the time so his mentor and manager Sir Alex Ferguson acted on his behalf to negotiate his contract to sign for Newcastle.
Gillespie was on around £250-a-week at Man Utd and when Newcastle agreed to sell them Andy Cole for £7million, Kevin Keegan insisted on having the flying winger as part of the deal. So when Keegan along with some Newcastle directors and Gillespie were set to meet to sort out his contract, Fergie went along too acting on behalf of his Class of ’92 graduate.
“We went to meet Kevin Keegan and some directors in a hotel with Sir Alex – he acted as my agent.”
“I don’t know if he ever did it before; I don’t know if he ever did it again. He just rang my Mum and asked if it was OK if he looked after me. He looked after me, definitely!”
The Scottish cheat was on top form once negotiations began as he blagged that Gillespie was on £600-a-week. Not only this but he managed to get the ‘genius’ NUFC directors to stump up £1,200-a-week in order to seal the deal. Unbelievable. You would think Newcastle were absolutely desperate to sell Cole to be fooled into such nonsense so easily…
— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) October 18, 2016
So they lost Andy Cole and got ripped off on Gillespie. Whether this transfer was actually a good thing in the end for the club is up for much debate on Tyneside. After all, without the sale of Cole they would not have brought in Les Ferdinand as his replacement. The legendary 95-96 season would never have happened and we wouldn’t have such great memories of Big Les dominating the Premier League to within a whisker of Newcastle being Champions.
Then there’s the other argument of well the Geordies didn’t win anything and Man Utd with Andy Cole in their side did end up Champions in 1996, he also went on score plenty of goals against them and who knows maybe Gillespie would have kept Beckham out of the team and the future Sir David wouldn’t be what he is today. Now there’s a thought! Pros and cons on both sides but fact is facts and what happened, happened. Good or bad for the Toon.
What wasn’t a fact was how much Fergie told Newcastle Gillespie was on and gladly ripped them off. Fergie telling porky pies and getting away with it?…now there’s a fact. Rafa would agree.
Follow me on Twitter @ToonBano