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Keith O'Neill (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameKeith Padre Gerard O'Neill
Height6ft 1in / 1.85 m
Playing positionMidfield

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Keith Padre Gerard O'Neill (born 16 February 1976 in Dublin) is a former professional footballer who represented the Republic of Ireland.

Keith began his playing career with Dublin side Tolka Rovers at the age of 6 but transferred to Home Farm at the age of 13. He was spotted by Norwich at the age of 14 and invited over for trials with Mike Sutton's youngsters. Arsenal and Chelsea were also keen and he had visited the Gunners on several occasions. However they lost interest due to his injury niggles whilst Norwich showed faith and so he joined the Canaries. At the same time, he won his first international honours for the Republic's Under 18 side.

O'Neill a native of Glasnevin was a pacey left-sided midfielder who could sometimes play as a striker, as a promising youngster O'Neill was spotted by several sides including Norwich City, who went on to sign him when he was 18 and did immediately impress, despite being very injury prone. The injury problems, some of them stemming him having suffered from spondylosis as a child, affected him virtually from the start of his career and ultimately curtailed his progress.

He was diagnosed at Coventry City with two degenerative bone conditions in his spine called spondylolisthesis and spondylosis, essentially a double fracture of part of the cord that threatens to leave him disabled.

O'Neill went on to play for Middlesbrough F.C. and Coventry City F.C., as well as making 13 appearances for his country, scoring four goals including scoring twice against Bolivia at Giants Stadium in 1996 .




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