Ireland defender Richard Keogh sacked by Derby County for 'gross misconduct'
Ireland international Richard Keogh has been sacked by Derby County "for gross misconduct" following the car accident that left the Rams captain with serious knee injuries.
The 33-year-old defender sustained the injuries following a team-bonding night out last month which will rule the 26-times capped Irish star out of action until late next year.
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Derby have released a statement this evening, confirming Keogh is no longer an employee of the club.
Keogh has reportedly instructed his lawyers in the matter and the Professional Footballers’ Association is also involved.
"Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th," the Championship club said in a statement.
"As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.
"As we have said from the outset, the club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute.
"The club will be making no further comment at this time regards this matter, until the conclusion of any potential appeal," the statement concluded.
Keogh was in the back seat of team-mate Tom Lawrence’s car when it crashed into a lamp post after the night out at the Joiners Arms in the Quarndon area of Derby on September 24.
Wales striker Lawrence and team-mate Mason Bennett were fined, banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service for their part in the car crash.
While both men appeared in court on October 15 after being charged with drink driving, Derby also fined Lawrence and Bennett six weeks’ wages each.
Keogh was in attendance Derby's 1-0 win over Wigan at Pride Park last Wednesday. His reported £25,000-a-week contract was due to run out at the end of next season.
Born in Harlow, Essex, Keogh had played for Stoke City, Bristol City, Carlisle United and Coventry City before signing for Derby in 2012, making 315 appearances.