165 James Keen

Biography

James Keen joined the Tigers in July 1924, his express pace enabling him to be a dangerous player on either wing of the forward line. He began the 1924/25 season in City manager Bill McCracken’s first team (McCracken had previously played alongside Keen at Newcastle United) but after starting seven of the first 11 games he dropped into the reserves. Keen was restored to the first team in March 1925 and started ten games, seven on the right wing and three on the left. In the 1925 close season the Tigers decided to dispense with Keen’s services and he was given a free transfer.

James Frederick Keen was born in the St Peters area of Newcastle Upon Tyne, midway between the city centre and the shipyards at Walker. His father ran a hotel, which the Keen family lived in, while James worked in the shipyards as a teenager. With senior football coming to a halt due to World War One, Keen had to wait until his mid-20s to make his way in the game, making good use of the pace he exhibited as a competitive sprinter. He spent the 1919/20 season at his local Northern Alliance side Walker Celtic.

After playing in a trial match for Carlisle United in March 1920 Keen was tempted south to join Bristol City the following August. He made his League debut in a Division Two fixture against The Wednesday in May 1921 and in the 1921/22 season he had a run of eight games in the winter months during which he scored his only senior goal, in a January 1922 2-2 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bristol City were relegated at the end of the season and James moved to his home club, First Division side Newcastle United. A dream move for Keen yielded two starts, in September 1922 against Birmingham City and in April 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. Given a free transfer by Newcastle United in May 1923, James moved on the Queens Park Rangers for season playing in Division Three South and he finally made a first team place his own, starting 32 games but failing to trouble the scorers. At the end of the season it was Hull City that claimed his signature, taking him back to the Second Division.

Keen joined Wigan Borough for the 1925/26 season after a brief trial at Darlington, he made 13 starts for the Lancastrians before returning to Walker Celtic in October 1926, however he rapidly disappeared from the game. By 1939 he was back working in shipyards, by now a plater in Hartlepool. He stayed in Hartlepool for the rest of his life and died there in the summer of 1980.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 25 November 1895, Walker
Hull City First Game: 30 August 1924, Derby County A (Division Two), 28 years, 279 days old
Hull City Final Game: 2 May 1925, South Shields H (Division Two), 29 years, 158 days old

Clubs

Walker Celtic (1919-1920), Bristol City (1920-1922), Newcastle United (1922-1923), Queens Park Rangers (1923-1924), Hull City (1924-1925), Wigan Borough (1925-1926), Walker Celtic (1926)

Hull City Record

Career: 17 apps, 0 goals

James Keen
SeasonLGE
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LGE
Gls
FAC
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FLC
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FLC
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EUR
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EUR
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OTH
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OTH
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1924/25170--------

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