Hot Lips Healy, the Fun-Loving Student Party Girl; UNIVERSITY DAYS: Kate McCann as a Student in Dundee

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Houston

DESPITE the grainy black-and-white image, her glossy blonde,shoulder-length hair and distinctive features give a clue to her identity asone of the most photographed women of 2007.

Taken 15 years ago in the final days of her Scottish university education, theimage captures Kate McCanns heyday.

Days of unadulterated happiness at Dundee Universitys medical school, where shewas known to friends as Hot Lips Healy.

The Class of92 Yearbook portrays Kate Healyas she then wasas Scouser Healy-chops, a high-spirited girl who took full advantage of thehectic city student scene.

She spent five years at the acclaimed medical school, which is linked toDundees Ninewells Hospital, arriving as a 19-year-old from Allerton inLiverpool.

Friends from that time say she set the hearts of male medical trainees racing,and was just as happy to prop up the bar at the students union as she waswatching local rugby matches.

It is such a far cry from where she is now, a 39-year-old woman trying tomaintain her dignified public poise in the most horrendous circumstances. Thecomposed, silent and solemn Kate of todayher eyes in a far away place to hide the paincontrasts dramatically from her days in Dundee.

The image from 1992 reveals for the first time that she has long maintained herwell-groomed features and her slender figure.

One former classmate, now a practising doctor in Dundee, recalled Kate as afun-loving party girl.

Last night, he said: Kate was always up for a laugh and a party. She wascertainly more interested in going to the pub than in her studies.

Although, in saying that, she must have been a very bright girl, because sheseemed to pass her exams with ease.

She was known as Hot Lips Healy and all the guys fancied her. I often wonderedwhat happened to her and I just feel so sorry. I dont think there was a personat university that had a bad thing to say about her. …