Lee Keegan (born 25 October 1989) is a Gaelic footballer who plays as a defender for Westport and, formerly, for the Mayo county team. Many regard Keegan as his county's greatest ever footballer.[1][2] He is also the highest scoring defender of all-time having clocked up 6–40 in 54 championship matches.[citation needed]

Lee Keegan
Personal information
Sport Gaelic football
Position Wing Back
Born (1989-10-25) 25 October 1989 (age 34)
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Years Club
Club titles
Mayo titles 1
Years County Apps (scores)
Mayo 67 (7-48)
Inter-county titles
Connacht titles 7
All-Irelands 0
All Stars 5
*Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 27 June 2022.

Keegan is the only player to win five All Stars without winning an All-Ireland medal.[1] He also scored a goal against Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton in three consecutive championship matches.[1]

He has been an analyst on The Sunday Game and a Gaelic football analyst for RTÉ Sport since 2022.[3][4]

Early life edit

Keegan attended Rice College and played football for the school.[1] Kevin Keane, another Westport player, attended Rice College at the same time and played with Keegan on the school team.[1] Rugby union interested Keegan as a child and he was part of Connacht Rugby underage academies.[1]

Playing career edit

Club edit

Keegan won the 2009 and 2016 Mayo Intermediate Football Championship with his club Westport.

In October 2016, he won a Connacht Intermediate Club Football Championship.[citation needed]

In February 2017, Keegan won an All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship title with Westport, with the club defeating Meath's St Colmcilles by a scoreline of 2–12 to 3–08 in the final.[citation needed]

In October 2022, he won a Mayo Senior Football Championship, which was Westport's first.[5]

Inter-county edit

Keegan never played at minor level.[1] However, he played in the county under-21 team in 2009 and 2010.[1]

As a senior player, Keegan became particularly known for his encounters with Dublin. He first played Dublin in a National Football League game that was abandoned midway due to fog (although the GAA officially counts those sorts of matches, even if the result is void).

Keegan started at right half back in consecutive All-Ireland football finals: the 2012 decider, which Mayo lost by a scoreline of 0–13 to 2–11 against Donegal and the 2013 decider, which Mayo lost by a scoreline of 1–14 to 2–12 against Dublin.[6][7][8] He was named in the 2012 All Star football team in the right half-back position.[9]

Keegan played against Dublin again in the 2016 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final and was shown a black card so had to be substituted.[10] In November 2016, he was named as the GAA/GPA Footballer of the Year for 2016, and also picked up his fourth All-Star award.[10]

Keegan played against Dublin again in the 2017 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.

He was centrally involved in Mayo's 2021 All-Ireland SFC semi-final comeback against Dublin.[1] He then attempted to help his team come from behind against Tyrone in the final but did not succeed and Mayo lost again.[1] It was his seventh All-Ireland SFC final appearance.[1] He received a fifth All-Star.[1] He was also nominated for the All Stars Footballer of the Year Award for a second time.[1]

On 9 January 2023, Keegan announced his retirement from inter-county football.[11][12]

International edit

Keegan played twice for Ireland against Australia in the 2013 International Rules Series, which Ireland won.[13][14]

Keegan was also named in the squad for the 2014 International Rules Series.[15][16]

Keegan was named as vice-captain for the 2015 International Rules Series.[17] Ireland won the 2015 Series.[18]

Player profile edit

The Irish Independent's Frank Roche described Keegan in 2022 as "A smiling assassin in one game; a man-marking pest the next".[1] In June 2022, Maurice Brosnan (a sports journalist) tweeted a one-minute video montage featuring six points Keegan had scored in the championship over the previous ten months.[1] Keegan scored the six points as follows: when Mayo were four points behind Dublin, five points behind Tyrone, six points behind Galway, after twenty scoreless minutes against Monaghan and — the latest two — against Kildare in June 2022 when Mayo was three points behind Kildare (leaning back and falling) and then four points behind the same team (with his weaker left foot, almost standing upright, past several Kildare players).[1] Former Mayo forward John Casey commented: "The two points he got against Kildare were unreal. He was falling for the first one in the first half, he was leaning back and he fell as he kicked it. But the point he got in the second half — Jesus Christ. If Ciarán McDonald got it we'd have been raving about it for years".[1]

Keegan had two hip surgeries at the end of 2017.[1] He had an operation on a dislocated shoulder in 2018 (experiencing his third concussion at the same time) and damaged an ankle ligament in 2019.[1] Mayo, Rice College and Westport teammate Kevin Keane later said: "People are very quick to judge. Even in 2019, against Dublin [when his performance against Con O'Callaghan was scrutinised], Lee was held together with an ankle injury".[1]

Personal life edit

Keegan is married to Aoife with two young daughters.[1]

Career statistics edit

As of match played 26 June 2022.
Team Year National League Connacht All-Ireland Total
Division Apps Score Apps Score Apps Score Apps Score
Mayo 2011 Division 1 2 0–00 2 0–01 4 0–01
2012 10 0–01 2 0–02 3 0–02 15 0–05
2013 8 0–04 3 0–04 3 0–05 14 0–13
2014 8 1–07 3 1–02 3 0–02 14 2–11
2015 7 0–00 2 1–00 3 1–04 12 2–04
2016 4 0–01 2 0–01 7 1–05 13 1–07
2017 5 0–06 2 0–00 7 2–06 14 2–12
2018 2 0–00 3 0–01 5 0–01
2019 7 0–01 2 0–02 7 1–05 16 1–08
2020 6 0–00 3 0–00 2 0–00 11 0–00
2021 Division 2 4 0–01 2 0–00 2 0–02 8 0–03
2022 Division 1 7 0–00 1 0–01 3 0–03 11 0–04
Career total 70 1–21 22 2–12 45 5–36 137 8–69

Honours edit


References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Roche, Frank (25 June 2022). "Mayo's all-time greatest: When they needed him most, against Dublin, Tyrone, Monaghan and Kildare, their talisman delivered. How does he keep doing it?". Irish Independent. pp. 1–3 (Sport). …and tomorrow will be his 140th appearance in the green-and red.
  2. ^ "Lee Keegan chalks up yet another masterclass". The Irish Times. 13 June 2022. 'What will we do when he goes? The greatest Mayo player I've ever seen', commented Mayo News reporter Ed McGreal. Meath's Bernard Flynn echoed that (Mayo's greatest player of all time amazing attitude application and a model of consistency) while on Off The Ball, Dublin's Tomás Quinn described his performance as 'absolutely sensational'. 'And for me', added Quinn, 'he's probably Mayo's best-ever player.'
  3. ^ "'It's an absolute joke' – Hawkeye gaffe slammed in All-Ireland semi-final". Pundit Arena. 9 July 2022.
  4. ^ Keegan, Lee (9 February 2023). "Sigerson is players' favourite but pre-season competitions can go". RTÉ News. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  5. ^ Finnerty, Mike (30 October 2022). "Westport's late surge yields first Mayo football crown". RTÉ.
  6. ^ "Donegal 2–11 0–13 Mayo". BBC. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  7. ^ Breheny, Martin (24 September 2012). "Murphy rocket sees Donegal strike gold". Irish Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Dublin 2–12 Mayo 1–14". RTÉ. 22 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  9. ^ "GAA/GPA All Star Football Team 2012 Announced". 24 October 2012. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d "Lee Keegan named footballer of the year". RTÉ. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  11. ^ Keys, Colm (9 January 2023). "Mayo's Lee Keegan has retired from inter-county football". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Keegan calls time on Mayo career". RTÉ News. 9 January 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Ireland 57–35 Australia". RTÉ. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Ireland 116–37 Australia". RTÉ. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  15. ^ Michael Murphy to captain Ireland in Australia
  16. ^ Paul Earley includes players from 15 different counties in International Rules squad
  17. ^ "Twitter: Mayo GAA tweet regarding Lee Keegan's appointment of vice-captain of the Ireland international rules team for the 2015 series". Mayo GAA Twitter. 28 October 2015. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Ireland hold on for Rules win over Australia". RTÉ. 21 November 2015. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017.
  19. ^ "The final XV". RTÉ Sport. 29 May 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  20. ^ Breheny, Martin (30 May 2020). "Revealed: The Top 20 footballers in Ireland over the past 50 years". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 30 May 2020.