Tributes paid to Lane star Keith

TRIBUTES have been paid to Keith Kettleborough whose playing career included Sheffield United and Rotherham United and who almost made the final squad for the 1966 World Cup.

Keith, who lived in Rotherham, died on Monday aged 74.

There was a minute's applause for Keith at Bramall Lane on Monday, an appropriate gesture as Keith played for both the Blades and Newcastle in football's top flight, then called the First Division, in the early 1960s.

"Keith was a great player, you could give him the ball and know he'd do something with it," said a former teammate of his at Rotherham, Roy Lambert. "He was a good passer but could put his foot in as well if he needed to.

"It tells you how good he was that he made the squad of 40 for the 1966 World Cup.

"He was a lovely chap, a tremendous all-round sportsman and we were big friends – I went to see him only last week and we chatted away about the old times and he'd retained his sense of humour and we were having a laugh," added Roy.

Keith, from Rotherham, made 130 appearances for the Millers as a skilful, mobile inside forward before joining Sheffield United in 1960, helping them gain promotion to the First Division (now Premier League) and making well over 150 appearances in five years.

He was capped by the Football League in a representative game whilst at the Lane and included in Sir Alf Ramsey's 1966 World Cup squad of 40 players before missing out when it was cut to the final 22.

He joined Newcastle in January 1966, helping them stave off relegation from the top flight. After a season there he joined Doncaster as player-manager but then reverted to becoming just a player and after a year joined Chesterfield for two seasons and later played for Matlock.

An outstanding cricketer – he played as a youngster for Yorkshire Schools and the North of England – he played professionally with Rotherham Town (playing in their Yorkshire League title winning side of 1963) and Rawmarsh as a talented batsman and for many years with Whiston Parish Church in the South Riding League. He was also an excellent golfer.

After finishing football he had a milk round at Whiston but was later clerk of works at Sheffield's Birkdale Prep School where he also coached both football and cricket.

His funeral is on Friday, November 13 at St.Cuthbert's Church, Rotherham at 11am, followed by private cremation.

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