Thursday, October 7, 2010

7 October 2000 - Keegan Takes A Bathroom Break

On 7 October 2000, Kevin Keegan resigned as England manager--from the bathroom.

Keegan, who had made 63 appearances for England from 1972 to 1982, took over from Glenn Hoddle as manager of the Three Lions in February 1999, after spells in charge of Newcastle (1992-97) and Fulham (1998-99). His first match in charge was a 3-1 win over Poland in a Euro 2000 qualifier. But after qualifying for the tournament, England were eliminated in the group stage.

The following autumn, England opened their qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup with a 1-0 loss to Germany at Wembley on 7 October. Apart from being disappointed in the result, Keegan was livid that the British press had reported his team selection prior to the match, giving the Germans what he perceived to be an unfair advantage. In the locker room after the match, Keegan decided to resign. Acting FA chief David Davies pulled Keegan into the only private space available - a toilet stall - and tried to change his mind. When Keegan refused, Davies summoned two members of the FA to the stall so they could receive his resignation before hearing about it from the press.

Keegan returned to management with Manchester City (2001-05) and Newcastle (2008), but his 38.9% winning percentage with England makes him the national team's least successful manager, statistically.

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