Former Bristol City, Ipswich Town and Derby County man announces retirement after 'unforgettable' career

Richard Keogh (R) played for Bristol City during the mid-2000s. He is now retiring from professional football to become a coach. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Richard Keogh (R) played for Bristol City during the mid-2000s. He is now retiring from professional football to become a coach. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Richard Keogh (R) played for Bristol City during the mid-2000s. He is now retiring from professional football to become a coach. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images) | Getty Images
One former Bristol City defender is calling it a day after suffering relegation in his final year as a professional footballer.

Former Bristol City defender Richard Keogh has announced that he is to retire as a professional footballer.

The 37-year-old is bringing to an end his 20-year playing career after making an announcement on his social media channels. Keogh had been playing for Forest Green Rovers but suffered relegation to League Two, and will now focus on a career in coaching.

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He said in a statement posted on his X account: “I wish I could play on forever, but we all know eventually this day will come. So after 786 appearances and 20 years, I am announcing my retirement from playing. 

“My career surpassed all my expectations, full of unforgettable moments that not only made me a better player but also a better person. 

“I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to my family, friends, agent Cos and advisors. Their love, support, sacrifice and guidance made it possible for me to live out my dream.

“I have been extremely fortunate and feel privileged to have played for and captained incredible clubs. I want to extend my appreciation to all of my past teammates, managers and coaches - the pleasure was mine and I am honoured to call many of you friends for life.

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“And now to the fans - you make the game special. Playing through Covid undeniably proved the game is nothing without you. The bond I shared with many of you made every game memorable. Thank you.”

Keogh played for the Robins from 2005 to 2008 and appeared 53 times for them, helping them win promotion to the Championship in 2007. The experienced defender had loans at Wycombe Wanderers and Huddersfield Town whilst he was contracted at Ashton Gate.

He was capped 26 times for the Republic of Ireland and also played for Coventry City, Carlisle United, Derby County, MK Dons, Blackpool and Ipswich Town. Keogh won promotion to League One with the Tractor Boys in 2023 and was also an EFL Trophy runner-up in 2010.

The defender who was 14 appearances shy of 800 games, added: “Wearing the captains armband for Ireland was the ultimate honour. To represent the green jersey was the impossible dream and to play in a major tournament was the dream come true.

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“The camaraderie, the matches, the shared moments with fans - these are memories that will stay with me forever.

“Last but not least, to my amazing wife Charlie and my sons Seb and Myles. Your unwavering love and support means everything to me. Thank you for being my rock. I am eternally grateful.

“I now look to the next chapter, where I am fully focused on taking my next step into coaching. For now, Richard.”

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