HE has been used to making back page headlines through his role as a world class football player and manager, but Kevin Keegan made the front page of the Hexham Courant in this week 25 years ago.

As popular manager of Newcastle United FC, who were fighting for top honours in England at the time, Special K visited pupils and staff at local special needs school, Hexham Priory School.

Keegan visited the school to open its sensory room which had been paid for through donations from 12 local companies and 12 months of fund-raising by staff and pupils.

While there, he happily chatted to Hexham Priory School pupils, as well as children from Hexham Middle School, Hexham East School, Hackwood Park and Abbeyfields First School, in Morpeth.

He joined nurse Hazel Barclay and six-year-old pupil James Gallon at looking at the centre’s fibre optic display. He also accepted a gift from eight-year-old Joseph Stead, a painting of a footballer by the pupil.

Headteacher at the time, Mike Thompson, spoke proudly of Keegan’s visit and the new sensory room.

He said: “The new room is specially designed so that by just flicking a switch or pressing a button the child can create a huge change in his or her environment in terms of light, colour and sound.

“This is extremely important to children, especially some of our pupils who normally have little control over the world around them.”

Keegan’s ‘Entertainers’ finished that current Premier League season in sixth position, one spot outside the European places, following their previous season’s third placed finish in their return to the top tier of English football.

He returned to manage Newcastle in 2008.