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Bez's Charlton recollections - 26/10/2002

Bez's Charlton recollections
They cut me just here
   Charlton Athletic
   Newcastle United

As Bez is away in China at the moment, we’ll be updating you on his news on Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime we’ve dug out a few stories about his Newcastle v Charlton experiences. If you’d like to see more, then go to ‘biography’ and click on ‘football stories’.

Part One – Newcastle 3 Charlton 1, 14/11/92.

Gavin Peacock, who's Dad played for Charlton scored twice just after his birthday and a rare Steve Howey goal gave us a 3-1 win."Rob Lee, who I roomed with at the time was a bit sheepish about this game as his Dad, Reg, had sponsored the game. All the lads and Kevin [Keegan] took the p*ss something rotten. His Dad is involved in a shipping company and we couldn't help but have few digs about how he was the next Onassis. Gavin loved to get the goals and he always wanted to be number one but once or twice this didn't go down too well with the lads. During a home game David Kelly headed home a shot from Gav that would probably have gone in. If you watch the tape you can see him turn away in disgust as everyone else jumps on Ned [Kelly]. Its a cliche about being a team game but things like that don't go unnoticed."

Part Two - Charlton 2 Newcastle 2, 10/03/93

"I don't remember much about this game, although something that stick out in my mind were the debuts of Mark Robinson and Scotty Sellars. I was disappointed that Kevin Sheedy's time had come to an end as he was fantastic to play with down the left. However, having a fellow Sheffield lad in Scotty was a great replacement and I think we worked really well for a season or two. In the game, Rob Lee got one right at the start and I remember Steve Howey tripping over the ball and letting in Carl Leaburn." Talking of ‘Boy’, me and Rob Lee first discovered that Steve had had his ears pinned, although he tried to keep it a bit quiet. His ears got infected, though and Steve felt they'd pinned them back a bit too tight. Actually he didn't take that much stick for it, surprisingly, although we did push back the wing mirrors on his car after training one time....

Part Three - Charlton 1 Newcastle 1 , 05/01/97

We had absolutely no idea what was to follow this game. We knew things weren't great and the Blackburn away game was a real low point. Although you always want the team to do well and I got on well with Robbie Elliott, I'd thought that the Blackburn game might let me back in the team [John had a thigh strain injury that had kept him out for a couple of weeks]. I hadn't trained and kicking a ball was still painful. Kevin wanted a word and I went to see him and Derek Wright the day before the Spurs game. Derek said I needed another week but KK said he wanted me to "liven things up a bit" and that I only needed to "kick a ball 15 yards...". This was one of the biggest boosts I ever had as a player, we had Pedro [Beardsley], Shearer, Les and all the others in the side and here was Keegan telling me I could liven things up. Of course we won 7-1 and I came off thinking, "I must be the difference"....only joking! After the game, though, Kevin didn't come into the dressing room. Usually after a game like that he'd have a friendly dig at us for not scoring ten but he left the ground and wasn't seen for a day or two. His wife, Jean, was ill but we still felt something wasn't quite right. However, we beat Leeds 3-0 on New Year's Day and everything seemed back to normal. After the Charlton game KK walked out of a press conference after a someone had upset him [Brian McNally??]. But we still didn't know what was coming. When we drove into training we still had no clue, although there were one or two rumours amongst the lads. Terry and Arthur [McDermott and Cox, not McCann and Daley] called us all together and told us the news. Terry was obviously devastated and the lads just sat in silence. After a while David Batty suddenly piped up, "Flippin' heck (or words to that effect!?) are we having a minute's silence or what?", which broke the tension. We just went through the motions during training that morning as we were all just stunned. On Saturday we played at Villa and I'll never forget Arthur's teamtalk that day. It was like Winston Churchill's Dunkirk speech. We went out that day and gave everything against Villa and got a good 2-2 draw. Obviously we wanted to do it for Kevin, Terry, Arthur, the fans and for our own pride.

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