Date of birth
The centre-back from Oxford joined Arsenal as a school boy in 1980. However his professional debut didn’t come with the Gunners but instead on loan at Brighton four years later.
He’d have to wait another year to step out for the first time for Arsenal, in a 0-0 draw against the Albion on 23rd November.
That season he made 22 appearances in the league, but when manager George Graham was brought in, Keown wasn’t to be part of his plans. He left in the summer, moving onto Aston Villa and then Everton, making 201 starts in that time and scoring just the three goals.
A return spell with Arsenal was to follow, a £2 million move back to the London club was completed in February 1993. Inopportunely, due to being cup tied, Keown missed out on Arsenal’s historic FA Cup and League Cup double.
During his homecoming, he formed part of the meanest defences of the 90’s alongside Tony Adams, Andy Linighan and Steve Bould, strikers were limited in the shots they could have let alone the goals they could score.
He added three Premier League titles, three FA Cup wins and a Cup Winners’ Cup medal to his name throughout the glittering career he had with the Gunners.
Steve Coppell brought Keown to Reading in January 2005, knowing he was adding experience in abundance to a team that he was hoping wouldn’t falter en route to at least an end-of-season play-off place.
The gritty defender joined after a short spell with Leicester City, alongside fellow signing Les Ferdinand. The former England international was nearing the end of his playing days and he replaced Ferdinand to secure a goalless draw with Plymouth on his Madejski Stadium debut.
He got another clean sheet at home to Nottingham Forest, but despite that win the Royals were lacking confidence and after the promotion challenge spluttered to a halt, Keown hung up his boots.
His son has been making waves in our Academy for a number of years now though, so perhaps the Keown legacy is yet to make its mark in the shape of Niall in the near future.