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Peter Keenan

Image DOB: 7 April 1951

Debut: Round 1, 1970 against South Melbourne at Lake Oval
Last Game: Round 18, 1982 against Fitzroy at MCG

From: Wilby/Assumption College

Number: 8 1970-1975, 10 1981-1982

Honours:
Night Series winner - 1971

Games: 131 (213 total)
Goals: 88 (123 total)
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %
4019030.53

Statistical categories led:
Most goals in jumper 8

Christened Peter Patrick Pius Paul Keenan, but more affectionately known as "Crackers", Keenan was renowned as a player who always had a cigarette ready for him when he entered the sheds for half time.

Keenan spent the first six years of his career as a ruckman with the Demons before crossing to North Melbourne. He had first threatened to leave the club in 1973 when Ian Ridley was sacked, but was convinced to return. During Ridley's reign as coach Keenan had quit the club after having his tie cut in half by Phil Rhoden at a club dinner. He took off for him in Tungamah but at 7am called to say he was coming back as he'd had to stop driving because of fog.

At 23 years of age he announced his retirement in March of 1976, citing a loss of interest in football. There was some talk that it was to do with him being suspended by the club for failing to train that week, a charge with Keenan denied. He had clashed with official Noel McMahen at his last training session but claimed he'd already made the decision to give the game away and concentrate on his job as a strapper with horse trainer Bart Cummings.

Despite his claims that he was sick of football and might decide to play in the VFA during the second half of the year at best he soon signed with North Melbourne and was in the middle for their 1977 Premiership victory, missing the Grand Final the next year due to suspension. He might have been a North player had he stayed at Wilby in the Yarrawonga earlier long enough but by returning to Assumption after a handful of games he'd fallen back into the Melbourne zone.

Despite overtures from the Demons to make him one of the highest paid players in the league at the end of 1978 he spurned his old club and moved to Essendon Essendon for two years between 1979 and 1980.

The return of Ron Barassi in 1981 helped Crackers change his mind and he returned to the Demons to finish his career. First announcing he was thrilled be back with Barassi, Keenan managed to fall out with the coach in May of that year and his playing future was briefly in question. He had left the ground without permission and when Barassi followed him into the rooms and demanded an explanation the argument turned nasty and the ruckman packed his bags and went home.

The two patched up their difficulties and Keenan returned to the fold. He played until the end of the next season and then moved into the media. It was said that in his last season Keenan became agitated when the new MCG scoreboard stopped showing the racing scores. He won an award from the club training staff for being "Nicest player" in his final season.

He stayed on as a ruck coach and occasional reserves player in 1983, sporadically returning to the club over the years to lend his expertise in teaching young ruckmen. He wore number 60 when playing seconds matches.

In 1985 he was part of a rebel group which attempted to force Billy Snedden out of the club presidency and replace him with Jim Cardwell.

Keenan famously followed Jim Stynes around on the field in intra-club matches, helping the young Irish ruckman learn the game.

YearGamesGoalsBrownlow
1970 14133
1971 22182
1972 16132
1973 15131
1974 1581
1975 19218
1981 1421
1982 16012

Tribunal Record
MatchChargeSanction
Round 3, 1970 Striking 2 matches
Round 8, 1973 Striking 4 matches
Round 18, 1981 Striking Not Guilty


Lists
Essendon
North Melbourne
Premiership players at other clubs

Media
"Keenan quits" - The Age 18/03/1976
"Demons keen on Crackers" - The Age 13/10/1978
"Keenan, Barassi row at training" - The Age 15/05/1981
"Foot Notes" - The Age 27/08/1982
"Demon rebels gain support" - Canberra Times 27/08/1985

Links
Essendon FC profile
Wikipedia profile

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Friday 03 March 2017 15:41:25 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 34)

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