Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Arresting Change; from Marshalling the United Back Four to Policing FACE TO FACE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Arresting Change; from Marshalling the United Back Four to Policing FACE TO FACE

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN GIBSON

WHITER of hair and famed moustache, the detective constable is part of a Northumbria Police squad doing fascinating cold case reviews using the latest DNA technology to crack a number of unsolved serious crimes dating back years.

However, when a copper on the beat, Kevin Carr ended up trying to defuse the anger of Newcastle United fans on the verge of rioting at St James' Park after the 1990 play-off defeat by bitter rivals Sunderland.

Ironic that Carr should be the face of the law in the crowd, because over 195 games he was United's last line of defence playing in the famous promotion side of Kevin Keegan, Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle.

Twice Carr was voted United's Player of the Year in the early 1980s, as his reputation went before him.

"I was throwing the same fans back into the Gallowgate end who had stood behind my goal and supported me," laughed Kevin who went from keeper to copper when playing for Hartlepool, having given 10 years' loyal service to the Mags.

The transition had its moments, and not just the play-off wrecked by Marco Gabbiadini and Eric Gates.

In Carr's early policing days, charge sheets had to be signed by the arresting officer - and many small-time offenders proudly framed the autographed certificate and hung it on the wall.

"I was arrested by the Toon's keeper," was their claim to fame.

Kevin was also on duty at several Sunderland home games "which meant keeping my head down".

The thin blue line has also been walked by Carr's Newcastle team-mates Aidan McCaffery and Bomber Blackhall, who is now in the Met, but it was his two seasons sharing a dressing-room with KK and those who followed Tyneside's Pied Piper to St James' Park that are the most cherished of memories.

Kevin, who was reunited with Keegan at a sporting dinner in the city last week, says: "We played in the attacking style Kev adopted here as a manager, which wasn't always hugely comforting for a goalkeeper, but it captured the imagination of every Geordie and packed the ground. …

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