THEY seek him here...they seek him there….

Seventies football legend Kevin Keegan showed the type of elusive skills that won him such renown on the pitch by showing autograph hunters a clean pair of heels during a surprise visit to Cardigan on Friday.

The man who led Newcastle United heartbreakingly close to the Premier League title in 1996 is much in demand as an after dinner speaker these days.

Now living in Cheshire, the 72-year-old Tyneside hero – recently back in the headlines for controversially suggesting female pundits were not qualified to comment on the men’s game – is thought to have travelled to Cardigan after fulfilling an engagement in Merthyr.

Reports on social media claimed the former England head coach had been spotted at Well Pharmacy in Pendre and also at the Guildhall – but photographic evidence remained tantalisingly elusive.

Seeking recommendations for a good local restaurant, Mr Keegan is said to have told well-wishers that he ‘would love it’ if someone could point him and his family towards a decent Italian eaterie.

Sensing the possibility of snatching a late winner, the Tivyside appeared to have tracked the silver-haired maestro down to acclaimed Italian restaurant Mannucci’s on Grosvenor Hill, but staff there were remaining tight-lipped.

“I can’t say exactly who was dining with us,” said a spokesperson, “but I know there was definitely a family from Cheshire there… and also there were two other high-profile guests dining with us on Friday evening which isn’t unusual as we’ve had many celebrities dine with us since opening in March.

“But we do respect their privacy enough not to disclose it on social media!”

Keegan 1, Tivyside 0.