Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

KK Led Us from Cambridge to Kiev in Fairytale

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

KK Led Us from Cambridge to Kiev in Fairytale

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob LEE

WHEN Newcastle United made it to the Champions League for the first time back in 1997 it was nothing short of a fairytale at St James' Park.

Here with five games to go we could be seeing another chapter added to a remarkable story.

But let me take you back to our first foray into the big time in the Champions League.

We finished second and scraped in on the last day of the season.

Don't forget just a few years before we'd been staring the Third Division in the face before Kevin Keegan got there and within four or five years we were playing Barcelona in the Champions League!

If that's not a fairytale I'm not sure what is.

People wouldn't have dreamed of that happening then and I think it's similar now.

The club has been through a lot with relegation in recent times and then fighting back.

If you'd told people last year that with five games to go United would be in with a shout of the Champions League, they would have laughed at you.

Pundits would have laughed too.

Nobody would have expected Newcastle to be where they are now. But if you look at it now, you won't get a better opportunity.

Teams are going to improve next year and it will be a lot tougher. Arsenal will be up there again, and all of the teams that are now will be again because they've spent money and I don't think Newcastle have a better chance than now.

The chance to bring those great nights back is there.

The best nights as a footballer are playing in the Champions League - without a doubt.

People always remember those nights and we had a few against the likes of Barcelona and Dinamo Kiev.

Barcelona weren't as good as they are now, but they still had the likes of Figo and Rivaldo on the field.

It was still Barca coming to St James' Park - and we'd been hosting Grimsby and Cambridge just years before. …

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