Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 13:12 UK

Aircraft named after Toon manager

Kevin Keegan
The plane will fly between Newcastle and London Gatwick

An aircraft has been named after Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan.

The plane, part of low cost airline Flybe's fleet, was unveiled at Newcastle International Airport on Thursday morning.

The firm said the honour was in recognition of the 57-year-old's contribution to sport in the city.

The Keegan plane, which has been given the registration 'KKEV', is scheduled to fly between Newcastle and London Gatwick.

Speaking at the unveiling, he said: "I'm genuinely touched that Flybe have named one of their aircraft after me.

"I saw that George Best and Matt Le Tissier have planes but I never thought that I'd be having one named after me.

"Now that I have, I'm delighted and honoured to be joining this exclusive group."

Keegan, a former player for the Magpies in the 1980s, returned to the St James' Park club last year for his second spell as manager.

Mike Rutter, Flybe's Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We felt drawn to make our own special contribution to one of this country's sporting heroes and icon to the people of Newcastle.

"Dedicating an aircraft seemed to be the most appropriate tribute."

Keegan's return in photos
17 Jan 08 |  Football

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