Friday, 7 December 2007

In Profile : Eamon O Keefe

Eamonn O'Keefe was born in Manchester on 13th October 1953 and played as a teeneger for Stalybridge Celtic before a spell with Plymouth Argyle. He didn't make the Plymouth side but went instead to play for top Saudi Arabian Club Al Hilal returning to Manchester disillusioned and signing for Mossley in December 1976 under the then unknown manager Howard Wilkinson as a left full back.

Upon Bob Murphy's return to Seel Park as manager a year later O'Keefe was moved to an attacking midfield position and it was one he relished. His pace, power and eye for goal saw him help Mossley to the Northern Premier League & Cup double in 1978-79 and a place in the England Semi Pro side. He played against Scotland and Holland in the May 1979 tournament scoring the winning goal against Holland in the final.

O'Keefe was then snapped up by Gordon Lee at Everton for a £25,000 fee, money that went on to paid for the erection of the Park End stand at Mossley's Seel Park ground. Eamonn went on to make 40 appearances for Everton scoring 6 goals and was capped by the Republic of Ireland, thanks to his fathers origin on 5 occasions and made a further 4 appearances as an over-age player in the under 21 side. He was then transferred to Wigan Athletic for a £60,000 fee and had later spells with Port Vale, Blackpool, St. Patrick's Athletic (Ireland) before Harry McNally signed the player for the Blues.

Eamonn went on to make a string of appearances for the Blues, quickly becoming a Sealand Road favourite during his final playing days of an interesting career. After leaving City, Eamonn went on to have a brief spell as a manager of Ireland national league team Cork City.

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