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Richard Keogh has been given an ultimatum by Derby as he fights for his future at the club

Richard Keogh’s former team-mate Jeff Hendrick criticises Derby County for ‘kicking the captain while he is down’ as Harry Arter also questions call to sack him after being injured in drink-driving crash with team-mates

  • Richard Keogh has been sacked by Derby County after refusing pay cut 
  • He suffered serious knee injuries following alcohol-fuelled team bonding night
  • He was in back seat of team-mate Tom Lawrence’s Land Rover when it crashed 
  • Former international team-mates Hendrick and Arter came to his defence 
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Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter have leapt to the defence of Richard Keogh following his sacking from Derby County on Wednesday.

The defender was shown the door at Pride Park after he decided not to accept an offer of reduced wages in order to stay at the Championship club.

He sustained serious injuries at the end of a team-bonding night last month, suffering knee ligament damage that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for more than a year. He has 14 days to appeal against the decision. 

Richard Keogh was sacked by Derby County after he refused to take a pay cut

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Richard Keogh was sacked by Derby County after he refused to take a pay cut

Keogh, 33, was in the back seat of Tom Lawrence’s car when it crashed into a lamp post after the night out on September 24.

But former Republic of Ireland team-mates claimed on Twitter he had been the victim of mis-justice by the Rams.

Arter, on loan at Fulham from Bournemouth, said: ‘So the one left unconscious in the car and not arrested gets sacked.’

Hendrick, who also played with Keogh at Derby for four years, retweeted his international team-mate and echoed his sentiments by saying:  ‘Agree. Talk about kicking a man (the captain) while he is down instead of helping him through this physically and mentally tough time.’

International team-mates Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter have come to the defence of Keogh

International team-mates Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter have come to the defence of Keogh

International team-mates Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter have come to the defence of Keogh

Keogh (20), Hendrick (13) and Arter(22) have all played together for Republic of Ireland
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Keogh (20), Hendrick (13) and Arter(22) have all played together for Republic of Ireland

Keogh (20), Hendrick (13) and Arter(22) have all played together for Republic of Ireland

In a statement on Wednesday night, Derby wrote: ‘Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th.

‘As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.

‘As we have said from the outset, the Club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute.’

Keogh was in the back of a black Range Rover last month while it was involved in a car crash
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Keogh was in the back of a black Range Rover last month while it was involved in a car crash

Keogh was in the back of a black Range Rover last month while it was involved in a car crash

Tom Lawrence arrived at Derby Magistrates' Court

Tom Lawrence arrived at Derby Magistrates' Court

The Derby forward was then escorted into court

The Derby forward was then escorted into court

Derby forward Tom Lawrence was driving the Range Rover that had Keogh in the back

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Lawrence, the Wales forward, and team-mate Mason Bennett were fined, banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work for their part in the car crash, which happened on the A6.

The pair appeared in court on October 15 after being charged with drink driving. Derby also fined Lawrence and Bennett six weeks’ wages each. 

Keogh had been at Derby since July 2012, joining from Coventry in a deal worth about £1million. 

He had made more than 300 appearances for the Rams and led them last season when they reached the Championship play-off final.

It is now probable that the Professional Footballers’ Association will become involved in the matter as Keogh considers his options, ahead of a long road back to fitness.

Keogh has been ruled out until December 2020 after being involved in the horror car crash
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Keogh has been ruled out until December 2020 after being involved in the horror car crash

Keogh has been ruled out until December 2020 after being involved in the horror car crash