On This Day in 2005 – Kevin Keegan departs as Manchester City manager

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Kevin Keegan’s departure as Manchester City manager came on this day in 2005 as Stuart Pearce took over first-team affairs until the end of the season.

Keegan’s City stint came to an end after three years and 10 months, with the club 12th in what was then known as the Premiership.

The former Newcastle and England boss was the club’s longest-serving manager for 26 years.

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Kevin Keegan signed Stuart Pearce to play for Manchester City and appointed him as a first-team coach before being succeeded by the former England defender (Owen Humphreys/PA)

City chairman John Wardle said: “Kevin stated he was finishing at the end of next season – that was a talking point in the media that would not go away.

“We discussed the rest of this season and felt it was in the best interests of the club that Kevin move on.”

Keegan, 54, took over as City manager in May 2001 and guided them to the old Division One title in his first full season.

He achieved a ninth-placed finish on the club’s return to the top flight and qualified for the UEFA Cup through the Fair Play League.

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Kevin Keegan had a short-lived second spell at Newcastle in 2008 after falling out with chairman Mike Ashley (John Giles/PA)

But the following 2003-04 season saw City finish fifth from bottom in the Premiership, while his final campaign brought an FA Cup exit to Oldham and a Carling Cup defeat to an Arsenal reserve team.

Pearce was given the job on a permanent basis after a successful run of form and stayed until May 2007 when he was sacked and succeeded by another former England manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson.

After declaring his retirement from football in 2005, Keegan made a sensational return to Newcastle in January 2008 – the club where he had enjoyed great success in the 1990s.

But it was an unhappy return as Keegan resigned eight months later after falling out with club owner Mike Ashley. He has not worked in football since.