I WAS interested to read Laurie McMenemy's kind appraisal of the Kevin Keegan's time at the Dell (Echo, October 6).

Keegan at the time was probably the best player in the country if not Europe when Big Mac pulled off his amazing signing. I cannot fault Keegan's two seasons with Saints especially his second injury free season where he scored 27 league goals and I cannot remember Kevin playing a bad game. It was the way he left Saints which for me still leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially as most people had renewed their season tickets thinking Kevin would be still a Saint but it was not to be. Kevin also said some remarks about the quality of the Southampton team he was leaving which he need not have said especially as Lawrie signed Peter Shilton, the best goalkeeper in the country, to add strength to the squad shortly after Kevin left.

I agree with Lawrie when he said that if Kevin had stayed we would probably have won the equivalent of the Premier League instead of runners-up to Liverpool just a couple of years later. Kevin has always been known for making emotional decisions when he probably should have slept on some of them before he took the steps he did, leaving Saints was, to my mind, one of them.

I cannot deny he is one of the greatest players to play for Saints and I think if had stayed he would definitely get my vote as the best I saw at the Dell, but there was a lot of 'what could have been' when he left the Saints so unexpectedly.

I think what makes a great player at a club is loyalty and to its fans such as Terry Paine and Matt Le Tissier did, improving the all round standing of the club over many seasons.

Kevin might have had a queue for his book launch and signing but I think I will pass on his new book. I do not think I want to give Kevin any of my money after he short-changed me when he left the Saints.

Paddy Maxwell