Derby duo Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett face sack after drink-drive crash leaves career of captain Richard Keogh hanging in the balance
- Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett are facing the sack from Derby County
- The pair have been charged with drink driving after a crash following a pub visit
- Captain Richard Keogh was left unconscious in the car with a damaged knee
- The 33-year old Keogh is out for the season and his career hangs in the balance
Derby duo Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett are facing the sack following the drink-drive crash that has left their captain Richard Keogh’s career hanging in the balance.
Derby have launched a ‘rigorous’ internal investigation after the pair were charged following Tuesday’s late-night horror smash.
And the attacking pair are now facing an anxious wait to see what disciplinary action from their club will follow the criminal charges. Derby’s displeasure at the events earlier this week was crystal clear in their angry statement confirming the ‘alcohol-related incident’.
Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett are facing the sack following the recent ‘drink-drive crash’
The Championship club are now awaiting full details of the build-up to the incident and how exactly their players ended the night in the state they were in before deciding if anything that constitutes a breach of contract took place.
Lawrence, 25, Bennett, 23, and Keogh, 33 — a backseat passenger in the former’s car who suffered a career-threatening knee injury in the collision — were returning home from a heavy drinking session that followed a day of bowling and a team-bonding dinner.
In clips uploaded on the Snapchat account of 32-year-old midfielder Tom Huddlestone — who will replace Keogh as Derby skipper — Bennett had been filmed downing drinks in a pub and, in other clips, vomiting in a urinal and insisting ‘I’ve had more than three’ pints of Peroni.
It has emerged that Richard Keogh was left unconscious at the scene of a car accident that saw him suffer a career-threatening knee injury and two of his team-mates charged by police
Keogh was found by emergency services in the backseat of team-mate Tom Lawrence’s crumpled Range Rover following the smash on Tuesday night
Lawrence and Bennett decided to drive home having ‘ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on by the club.’
They were arrested at the scene and charged after the crash involving Lawrence’s Range Rover, which was pictured crumpled up after careering into a lamp post, and a Mercedes GLC.
The pair have been freed on bail and are due to return to Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on October 15.
Extraordinary and fresh claims that Keogh was left unconscious at the scene in the back of the Range Rover before the emergency services discovered him have also emerged. They have been the talk of football since the incident.
But it is the seriousness of the knee injury that casts doubt over the future of Republic of Ireland international Keogh, who turns 34 in August.
According to reports, Keogh has been reassured by a knee specialist that he will make a full recovery.
Derby said in a statement: ‘We cannot, and do not, condone the actions of a small group of players on Tuesday evening. The players were out on a team-building dinner with staff. While the majority of them acted responsibly and left at around 8pm and were not involved, a small group, including team captain Richard Keogh, continued drinking into the night.
‘They should have known when to stop. They also ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on by the club, and chose to stay out.
‘As a result of an alcohol-related incident, Richard Keogh has sustained a serious knee injury that will prevent him from playing until the end of the season.
The Joiners Arms pub in Quarndon where the Derby players were drinking before the crash
A map showing the route the players took from the Joiners Arms pub to the crash site
‘The players involved in the incident on Tuesday evening will be subject to a rigorous internal investigation under the club’s code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, but over and above any punishment they receive we will be expecting them to become involved with the excellent work the Community Trust does helping the communities we serve.
‘We have been very clear about our attitude towards alcohol and the players know that at certain and specific times of the season they are permitted a drink together as a group in a controlled environment.
‘Those involved in Tuesday’s incident know they will pay a heavy price for their actions, but also that we will support them with their rehabilitation back into the squad and team.
‘We will be using this situation to redouble our efforts in highlighting the dangers posed by alcohol. We would also like to thank the emergency services for their swift help.’
Derby, last season’s beaten play-off finalists, have won once in the Championship this season under manager Phillip Cocu and host Birmingham this afternoon.