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INDEPENDENT Rs | The Boot Room : Passed Away on this Day - A True Rangers Legend....

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:47 am Reply with quote
User avatarJoined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:10 pmPosts: 11144Location: W12 now South Harrow
Kerrins wrote this tribute at the time.....

'It was very sad to hear the recent news of the death of Mike Keen, a great QPR Club servant and true legend. Mike played over 400 first team games for the R’s during his spell at Loftus Road covering the period from June 1958 to January 1969 and scored 44 league and Cup goals from a wing half/midfield position.

He was captain of the QPR team that won the League Cup and Division 3 Championship in 1967 and was also skipper again the following season when Rangers were promoted to the top flight for the first time in their history.

Those of us who had the honour of seeing him play throughout his entire career will agree that he was a class act. ‘Cool, Calm, Collected, Cultured’ summed up his qualities out on the pitch.

I saw him take over the number 4 shirt from George Petchey in the late 1950’s and for the next ten years he made that position his own. However, some supporters did not appreciate Mike’s strolling, stylish sophistication compared to George Petchey’s hard man ‘gung ho’ image but it did not take long though for Mike to win over his critics.

My first personal encounter with Mike was at the final whistle of a thrilling Division 3 promotion battle at Loftus Road against Grimsby Town on Saturday 10th March 1962, which Rangers won 3-2 after being 2-0 down.

When the referee blew for full time, it was the one and only occasion in my life I jumped over the Boys Pen together with a multitude of others and ran on to the pitch to congratulate the players. A muddy, beaming and triumphant Mike Keen strode past and patted me on the head as he made his way towards the dressing room. That surely must be preferable to a clip round the ear from Brian Clough eh ?

Mike was a really likeable person off the pitch as well. I remember on Saturday 17th February 1968, on the platform of Derby Station following a 4-0 defeat at the Baseball Ground, Mike approached our downcast group (not the other way round !) and with words of encouragement said: “Don’t worry lads, keep supporting us. We WILL go up.” Yes, take a look at the record books folks, he was proved right.

Mike Keen would have probably played many more games for the R’s instead of finishing his career at Luton and Watford were it not for Manager Tommy Docherty’s ageist attitude towards senior QPR FC playing staff…but that’s a debate for another time and place.

Thanks for the memories Mike.God bless you.
R.I.P'

Bernard Lambert


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:19 pm Reply with quote
User avatarJoined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:10 pmPosts: 11144Location: W12 now South Harrow
Alan Barnes wrote this about him in 2009.....'Although I went with my dad pre-1959, I always say that year was the start of me supporting QPR.

For the next ten years or so, the one person that always seemed to be on the pitch was Mike Keen. He was tall for a mid-field player, over 6ft, but looked quite elegant.

He had a long striding run and was good at carrying the ball. Strangely though, he was one of those players that took time to win the crowd over.

Every crowd needs someone to moan at, and although Mike Keen gave 100% effort, it was ‘his turn’. Although a mid-field player, he was often called on to play centre half or centre forward many times, always giving the same effort.

After Tony Ingham retired in 1963, Mike Keen became captain and had five great years in that role. When he broke into the team in 1959, it seemed that no’s 4, 5 and 6 were Keen. Rutter and Angell, to me anyway, but when they became Keen, Hunt and Sibley, things started to take-off. In amongst the ‘characters’ like Allen, Lazarus and Marsh…and maybe the Morgan twins,

Mike Keen got on with his job as captain, leading by his quiet example and chipping in with many assists and goals. He wasn’t one for ranting and raving at team mates and I imagine he had great respect.

Having played in nearly 450 games for us probably underlines that thought and 286 of which I believe were successive !

His departure in 1968 was sudden, especially after winning so well as captain, similar to Alec Stock at the same time. Although in Alec’s case it was not handled well at all!

Mike went on to have very good careers at Luton and Watford as a player and also went into management. He came back to us briefly in the Youth department.

When the 1967 Double Team were on the pitch a couple of years ago, Mike Keen still looked tall, elegant and very smart. In the 41 years since he was transferred from us to Luton, we have had many great captains, Venables, Francis, McLintock, Roeder, McDonald etc.

A couple of seasons ago we had six captains in one season! The thing is, Mike Keen to me personally, is the only captain to win and hold up a major trophy for us, on that great day at Wembley in March, 1967. He was a great captain, a big man, 100% and a gentleman.

R.I.P Mike Keen, again 100%.'

Alan Barnes


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