Richard Keogh: Derby County defender's contract terminated over drink-drive incident

Keogh was told by the Sky Bet Championship club he had to take a wage cut if he wanted to remain at Pride Park

Richard Keogh
Image: Richard Keogh has been sacked by Derby

Derby have sacked defender Richard Keogh for gross misconduct following his involvement in a drink-driving incident in September.

The defender was told on Wednesday he had to accept a new contract with the Rams on lower wages if he wanted to remain at the East Midlands club.

Keogh had had his campaign cut short following his involvement in what the club described as an "alcohol-related incident" last month, and is likely to be sidelined with a knee injury until December 2020.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Derby manager Phillip Cocu says Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence must learn from their actions after they pleaded guilty to drink-driving

The centre-back, along with team-mates Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence, were involved in a car crash following a team night out.

The collision occurred on the A6 in Allestree, Derby before midnight on September 24.

Derby boss Phillip Cocu said Keogh was "extremely down" and felt "responsible", following the incident.

The 33-year-old was under contract at Derby until 2021 and he had featured in eight Championship games for Cocu's side this season.

His two teammates Bennett, 23, and Lawrence, 25, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, and were ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, given a 12-month community order and disqualified from driving for two years, following the incident.

The pair were also fined six weeks' wages by Derby and given 80-hour community service orders.

A statement from the club read: "Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24.

"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."

Keogh had featured 356 times in eight seasons at Derby and captained them to the play-off final last term.

He has also earned 26 caps for the Republic of Ireland to date.

Curtis Davies has captained the Championship side in their six games since the traffic collision in September.

Soccer Saturday Super 6

Soccer Saturday Super 6

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the fifth time this year!

Around Sky