Monday 29 April 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
It is a post-match interview that has become an iconic moment in Barclays Premier League history.
The year was 1996 and Newcastle United and Manchester United were in a two-team battle for the title. Kevin Keegan's swashbuckling Magpies side had thrilled the Premier League with its attacking verve and at one point they had carved out a 12-point lead at the top of the table.
But United clawed their way back into the title race and as the season entered the final stages, they had gone ahead of their rivals. After a hard-fought win over Leeds United, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson upped the ante by suggesting that other teams may not try as hard against Newcastle as they would against his side.
Keegan was furious and, asked about Ferguson's comments after the Magpies had also defeated Leeds, the manager - voice cracking with emotion - launched into the famous tirade live on TV.
"When you do that with footballers like he said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce...
"I've kept really quiet but I'll tell you something, he went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that. You can tell him now, we're still fighting for this title and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something. And I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it.
"But it really has got to me. I've voiced it live, not in front of the press or anywhere. I'm not even going to the press conference. But the battle is still on and Man United have not won this yet."
Everyone knows what happened next - Newcastle went on to draw their final two fixtures, against Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur, as Manchester United won the title by four points.