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Winger's words and shirt score for hospice
A former team-mate of David Beckham called in to Saint Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower to see at first-hand the work the hospice is doing for local people affected by a life-limiting illness.
Keith Gillespie was one of the legendary Manchester United "Class of 92" who won the FA Youth Cup and played a number of games for the Red Devils in the Premier League.
Winger Keith (pictured with Day Therapy Unit patient Barry Emberson) later gained legendary status at Newcastle United where he played 143 matches scoring 13 goals and was a member of the Magpies team that beat Barcelona 3 -2 in the Champions League in 1997. He also earned 86 caps playing for Northern Ireland.
Asked to name his most memorable season in the Premier League Keith said: "the 1995/96 season when we finished second in the Premier League. I scored the only goal in Newcastle's win over Leeds United near the end of the season but that was overshadowed by Manager Kevin Keegan's famous interview on Sky Sports when he lost it live on air!"
Keith was invited to tour the hospice by supporter and volunteer Tracy Dowden from Romford whose daughters go to the same school as Keith's two daughters.
Tracy and her husband Liam have persuaded Keith to donate a signed copy of his book 'How not be a football millionaire' and a football shirt signed by a host of famous footballers he played alongside during recent Manchester United versus Liverpool legends team matches in Singapore and Thailand. Among those names on the signed shirt are Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Dietmar Hamman, Lee Sharpe, Andrei Kanchelskis and Louis Saha. The shirt and book will be auctioned to raise more funds for Saint Francis Hospice.
Keith Gillespie meets Day Therapy Unit patients and staff
Keith (left) by the hospice's memory tree with Liam and Tracy Dowden