United loan ace...with a difference

Manchester United, the Old Trafford announcer Alan Keegan standing in on the microphone
Manchester United, the Old Trafford announcer Alan Keegan standing in on the microphone
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Blackpool are known for their clever use of football’s loan system, but on Saturday they took things to a different level.

Alan Keegan may not be someone who is instantly recognisable, that until he opens his mouth.

Since 2000 he’s been the voice of Manchester United and struts his stuff in front of 75,000 each weekend at Old Trafford as the club’s PA announcer.

But for Saturday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday, he changed his tie to tangerine for a one-off trip to Bloomfield Road.

“I know Blackpool are currently looking for a new announcer,” he explained.

“I got an email and a call from Matt Williams asking if I fancied a trip to help them out.

“He told me how Blackpool are a great Northern club with great history, he gave me a good sell.

“He asked if I’d come and give them a hand and I was only too willing.”

The Seasiders are looking for a new PA announcer after the popular Tony Parr stepped down from his duties last month.

Fleetwood’s Rod Allsworth was drafted in for the visit of Ipswich, before club secretary Matt Williams sent a speculative email in the direction of Keegan.

And once given the green-light by his Old Trafford bosses, he was only too happy to help:

Keegan added: “Everyone has a soft spot for Blackpool, they are a great club.

“Also Paul Ince was a legend at Old Trafford, a real top class player.

“So there are plenty of connections between the two clubs. It was a lovely trip on Saturday.

“The set-up and process was a bit different, but at the end of the day a game of football was a game of football.

“I’m glad to have been part of a good win for the Seasiders.”

The role at Manchester United takes Keegan all around the world with growing international commercial interest.

But he explains how he started his career in comparing across Manchester with United’s arch-rivals.

“I worked at Manchester City before I started at Old Trafford, although I’m a big Manchester United fan,” he said.

“I’ve done a lot of stadium stuff over the years

“I get to go all over the world with United, it’s an incredible job.

“With all the sponsorship and commerical things it’s a full time job and one which takes me to some amazing places.

“It’s a real pleasure to be part of such a football institution.”

Keegan proved a lucky omen for the Seasiders, having played his part on Paul Ince’s side’s 2-0 win over struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

He’s put his voice to some of United’s biggest games in recent years, including finals at Wembley and all over Europe.

“I’d have to say the peak for me was the Champions League final in 2008,” he said.

“It was a long time since United had been in a Champions League final after 1999, and what a game it was.

“Ronaldo scored and I was honoured to announce it.

“The memories are fantastic.”

As for his brief spell at Bloomfield Road, it sounds like he’ll be back.

“I brought my wife and son to the game on Saturday and they had a brilliant day.

“I’ve always loved coming to Bloomfield Road, hopefully I’ll be back here watching United next season.

“I’m pleased to have played a very small part in a match day and I’ll definitely be back.”