Sometimes you don’t have to hang around a long time to earn yourself legendary status. Some footballers just produce one season or even half season of absolute genius that defines their career or at least their stay at one club during a definitive season.
Clearly, the part Eamon O’Keefe played in Wigan Athletic’s first ever league successful promotion campaign under Larry Lloyd lives long in the memory of many Latics fans. This was a club which had spent decades in non-league football and had only got into the Football League four years earlier and O’Keefe scored some crucial goals to made it happen.
A Mancunian of Irish stock whose career took him far and wide including the Middle East, many years before it became customary to do so to earn some easy cash, O’Keefe certainly had character. It was only a shame that the team that won promotion wasn’t built upon further which frustrated Lloyd amongst others and saw O’Keefe move on. A scenario we are all familiar with to this current day.
At the time, Eamon was a then club record £65,000 signing from Everton and was signed by Larry Lloyd on 28th January 1982. Eamon’s goals went a long way to ensuring that the Blues had won their first ever Football League promotion by the end of that season. He is fondly remembered for scoring the hat trick against Mansfield Town at Springfield Park on 8th May 1982 in the game in which promotion to the old Third Division was clinched thanks to a 3-1 victory. In total he made 56+2 League appearances, scoring 25 League goals before being transferred to Port Vale at the end of season 1982/83. In addition to his International caps, he also represented ENGLAND at Semi Professional level.
THE TNS TOP 50 RUNDOWN
38. Eamon O’Keeffe
39. Joe Hinnigan
40. Ian Kilford
41. Hugo Rodallega
42. James McCarthy
43. Mickey Worswick
44. Noel Ward
45. Simon Haworth
46. Gary Caldwell
47. Mike Pollitt
48. Bert Llewellyn
49. Bryan Griffiths
50. = Graham Barrow
50. = Maynor Figueroa
50. = Paul Jewell
50. = Graham Kavanagh
50. = Henri Camara
50. = Lee Cattermole
The TNS Top 50 was compiled last year and collected over 2,000 votes from Latics fans across a variety of platforms. There have been initial discussions with the club and other fan sites to turn this into a bigger survey and produce a book of the Top 100 Latics players next year with pen pictures written by fans
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