Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

So, why was there no place for Ketih Gillespie?

Keith Gillespie has never been a seeker of fame. Yet he started out his rollercoaster career being labelled the new, young George Best and now there are comparisons with the Fifth Beatle.

Ringo Starr would still be the unheard of Richard Starkey had a lad called Pete Best not packed it in as the Beatles' drummer just before the Fab Four made it big.

It would have been deserving to see Keith (below) in the Class of 92, billed as the most eagerly awaited football film in years (the same was said about Escape To Victory, so we'll reserve judgement until after the December 1 launch).

It's the story of the incredible march of the stars of Manchester United's FA Youth Cup winning team of 1992 to form the nucleus of the club's 1999 Champions League success, etching their names in Old Trafford history.

Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, Butt and the two Nevilles are the film star names.

But our Keith was in at the start of the Manchester United revolution when Alan Hansen famously declared on Match of the Day: "You'll win nothing with kids."

Keith was on the United Milk Cup winning team with Becks and Co, as well as the FA Youth Cup side and, unlike Robbie Savage and others who appear on screen, he actually made it into the United first team.

But for all his willingness to shine a light on his dark side, his well-documented gambling addiction, there has always been a shyness and reticence about Keith, a bit like the young George, to talk himself up.

The Class of 92 director explains on these pages that Keith couldn't be tracked down for inclusion. His loss and ours.

We tried to get hold of him, too, for his side of the story, and, guess what, he couldn't be found.

And, yet, for all that, isn't it heartening to know that in these days of everyone hanging on the line to be famous, at least someone with genuine claims isn't a slave to his mobile phone.

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