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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 14:52 GMT
Sir John stunned by Keegan return
The passionate fans at St James' Park
The fanatical Tyneside support was delighted by Keegan's return
Former Newcastle owner Sir John Hall has admitted his surprise at the return of Kevin Keegan, but is confident it will revive fortunes at St James' Park.

"I was astounded. I never saw him coming back into the game but now he's made that decision, it's a fascinating appointment," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We've got a magnificant stadium. The whole basis of the club is there.

"It's just been getting the manager right. Hopefully that will happen. He's given everyone hope again."

Sir John, who sold his majority shareholding in the club to Mike Ashley last year and is now life president of Newcastle United, believes a major factor in the excitement is the style of play that Keegan advocates.

There's a buzz about the place

Sir John Hall

Recalling the former England manager's previous reign on Tyneside he said: "We played such wonderful soccer. We didn't win anything, mind. We got promotion but the soccer we played was tremendous.

"Newcastle, at the time, was everybody's second club. That's what people on Tyneside want to see. If he can do that again, it just gives them hope.

"They love their soccer up here. You've got to remember, in spite of what's been happening, 50,000 still turn up every week. If he starts to win I can see the club having to extend the stadium."

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The former chairman was at St James' on Wednesday as Newcastle trounced Stoke 4-1, with Keegan cheering the team on from the stands.

"There is a buzz about the place," Hall enthused. "I was there and he's certainly given people hope again.

"There's a great expectancy he can revive the club as he did the first time he came as a manager. It's great news for the club and I hope he can do it."



SEE ALSO
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BBC pundits on Keegan
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Keegan returns as Newcastle boss
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Newcastle don't want me - Shearer
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Ashley promises Magpies revival
13 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
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12 Jan 08 |  Premier League
Allardyce reign ends at Newcastle
09 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United


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