Sporting hero marks the end of fundraising year for ABP on the Humber

February 11, 2015

 Above: Kevin Keegan addressing audience at ABP fundraising dinner (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography)

Footballing legend Kevin Keegan was guest of honour at Associated British Ports (ABP) Humber’s final fundraising event for its charity of the year Marfleet Primary School.

The event raised more than £20,000, which the school will put towards the construction of a new classroom.

The sporting superstar attended a dinner with ABP staff, customers and special guests and regaled the audience with tales of his stellar footballing career which began in Scunthorpe and included stints at Liverpool, Newcastle and Hamburg during a 26-year career that saw him win three First Division titles, the UEFA Cup twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup.

He hung up his boots in 1984 and embarked on a management career, taking Newcastle United to the First Division and the Premier League, he also managed Fulham and Manchester City as well as a spell managing the England team in 1999/2000.

Kevin spoke about his early life in Doncaster and how he began his working life in a plumber’s merchants before the lure of professional football beckoned. He praised the efforts of staff at ABP, who have been raising funds so that Marfleet Primary can build the much-needed extra classroom.

He said: "It's fantastic to be able to celebrate such a great cause with so many people who have worked hard to make sure this school can continue to educate the children of Hull to such a high standard.

"The words of Marfleet Primary School's motto really struck a chord with me as ones which we could all benefit from keeping in mind. Learn, laugh, live. What a lovely motto and what a great way to instill some simple yet meaningful values into our young people. I wish them and their benefactors well and I can't wait to see their new classroom when it's built."

Marfleet Primary School is housed in a tiny Victorian building sandwiched between industrial units in the east of Hull close to the port. The school was originally built to educate the children of dockworkers and now its 178 children are taught in mixed year groups as the school has been unable to expand.

ABP Humber chose the school as its nominated Charity of the Year for 2014 and the staff have been busy raising funds by taking part in a number of activities including climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a port open day, the Major Series Obstacle Race, a helicopter dunk, football matches, golf days, a clay pigeon shoot and a Humber swim. Staff also organised BBQs, cake stalls and a sponsored walk to Spurn Point.

ABP Director Humber, John Fitzgerald, a Liverpool fan himself, was delighted to welcome Kevin Keegan to the dinner, which was the final fundraising event for Marfleet Primary School before the company hand over what they have raised, to the school.

John said: “I have to say that as a football fan and as an ardent Liverpool supporter, I was very excited to welcome Kevin Keegan to Hull. However, I also knew that his presence at the dinner would certainly attract a lot of interest.

“The evening was a great success and Kevin Keegan was not only a very entertaining speaker, he was very, very accommodating, taking the time to speak to guests and let them take photos.

“It was a brilliant event and a great way to mark the end of this year of fundraising for Marfleet, as well as thanking our staff, customers and suppliers, who have put in a massive effort to support the school and help it achieve its ambition of building that extra classroom.”