Date:Wednesday May 19 2010
One F in O'Keefe, There's only one....
By Steve Brodie
As the Seasiders approach their date with destiny at Wembley, the one name we're all searching for on the team sheet is Charlie Adam. Over the years we've been blessed with a fair few talismanic figures. Wes, Simmo, Tony Ellis and Dave Bamber all spring to mind and in the mid eighties, the fans hopes and dreams rested on the shoulders of pocket rocket Eamonn O'Keefe. Despite playing only thirty six games in tangerine, the Manchester-born Irish International forward blasted twenty-three goals in his time at Bloomfield Road and muscled his way into the BFC Hall of Fame.
Now retired and living in Portugal, O'Keefe has an autobiography 'I only wanted to Play Football' out at the moment, fortuitously coinciding with the play- off final. 'It's great how it's worked out with the book. I'll be delighted if Blackpool win on Saturday. I'm looking to get down to the club more often next season and I'm hoping that that will be in the Premiership.' O'Keefe explained.
His book charts his football career, through non-league to league clubs such as Everton, Wigan and Port Vale and his early move to Saudi Arabia, where he became the first European player to ply his trade there. After becoming the object of affection of a Saudi Prince, he also became the first European player to leave!
How does he view his time at Blackpool under Sam Ellis? 'It was always a struggle to get into sides during my early career,' O'Keefe said, 'and at Everton I was surrounded by fantastic players like Bob Latchford and Andy King so perhaps I lacked a little confidence in my own ability. But at Blackpool, I came straight to the club after playing an international at Wembley, scored in my first game and it took off from there. My confidence was at an all time high. If the ball hit me on the back of the head, it still went in!'
Blackpool supporters of a certain age can still be heard reminiscing about that goal against Chesterfield. Does it ever come up in conversation when he meets Pool fans? 'It does,' he chuckled. 'And it's great it's still remembered. It was the type of strike that you hope will happen in a match and not just in training. I struck it so sweetly, if it hadn't hit the net, it would probably be still travelling now!' And would Eamonn liked to have played with Charlie Adam? His threaded passes would have certainly provided plenty of ammunition for O'Keefe to fire. 'I've heard good things about Adam,' he said. 'We had Mick Conroy at the club in my day. A proper diamond!'
Eamonn's book is available on-line from Amazon.co.uk or from his website at www.eamonnokeefe.com. He's got a Facebook page too - Eamonn O'Keefe Autobiography - I Only Wanted to Play Football.
Date:Wednesday May 19 2010
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