Keith Joseph Andrews
Date of birth
13 September 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder Number 5
Watford (on loan from Bolton Wanderers)
1997–1999 Stella Maris
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2005 Wolverhampton Wanderers 65 (0)
2000 Oxford United (loan) 4 (1)
2003 Stoke City (loan) 16 (0)
2004 Walsall (loan) 10 (2)
2005–2006 Hull City 29 (0)
2006–2008 Milton Keynes Dons 78 (19)
2008–2012 Blackburn Rovers 70 (5)
2011 Ipswich Town (loan) 20 (9)
2012 West Bromwich Albion 14 (2)
2012– Bolton Wanderers 26 (4)
2013–2014 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 31 (1)
2014– 2015 Watford (loan) 4 (1)
2015 Milton Keynes 5 (0) National team1996 Republic of Ireland U17 1 (0)
2008–2014 Republic of Ireland 35 (3)
Keith Joseph Andrews (born 13 September 1980) is an Irish association footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Football League Championship team Watford on loan from Bolton Wanderers and the Republic of Ireland national team.
Andrews began his career at Wolves, where he was their youngest captain for more than a century. His club career has also involved stints at Hull City and Milton Keynes Dons, as well as loan spells at Oxford United, Stoke City andWalsall while he was at Wolves. While at Milton Keynes Dons he was club captain, helped secure promotion for his team with a vital goal, helped win his team the Football League Trophy by scoring in the final at Wembley and was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
A full international since 2008, Andrews has gained over 30 caps for the Republic of Ireland and was selected forUEFA Euro 2012.
Andrews began his career as a trainee at Wolves, progressing from their academy to the first team. He made his senior debut on 18 March 2000 in a 2–1 win at Swindon. He continued his progress with the First Division club in the 2000–01 season, becoming a regular player as Dave Jones took over midway through. He went on a loan spell at Oxford United, scoring once against Swansea City. Back at Wolves, the final match of that season saw him become their youngest captain for more than a hundred years, at 21 years old, in a game against Queens Park Rangers.He signed a new four-year deal the following season but found himself out of the starting line-up after several new midfielders were acquired in the summer, resigning him to the substitutes bench and sporadic appearances over the next few seasons. To gain playing time, he spent half of the 2003–04 season on loan at Stoke City and the latter half at Walsall, where he scored two league goals against Millwall and Ipswich Town. He did however return to Molineux in between to make his only Premier League appearance for Wolves (against Newcastle United).The midfielder returned to Wolves’ team post-relegation in 2004–05 and gained his most appearances for the club during that season. However, he moved on at the end of his contract to join Hull City. In total, he made 72 appearances for the Midlanders, scoring once in a League Cup tie at Rochdale.
His new start with the Hull saw him sidelined again though, as he picked up an injury in only his second appearance for the team – in a match against his previous team, Wolves. He returned to the team in December after nearly four months out and featured in all but one of their remaining fixtures in what proved to be his only season for the club.
After a single year at Hull, he moved to Milton Keynes Dons of League Two for the 2006–07 campaign where he became club captain. He lost out on promotion in the play-offs, despite scoring in the semi-final tie with Shrewsbury Town.
However, the next year, now under the managerialship of his former Wolves team-mate Paul Ince, brought Andrews success. He scored the winning goal in a match at Stockport County on 19 April 2008 that saw the club promoted to League One, and also scored the opening goal of their 2–0 victory over Grimsby Town with a penalty in the Football League Trophy at Wembley. The season ended with him being voted into PFA Team of the Year and having already won the League Two Player of the Year Award at the Football League Awards. Andrews was then named at number 38 in a FourFourTwo poll of the top 50 football league players, as well as being named the best player in League 2. MK Dons then had a fight on their hands to keep hold of their inspirational skipper with interest from a number of Premiership and Championship clubs. He featured in MK Dons’s first three games of the 2008–09 season but then was sold to Blackburn Rovers managed by former manager Paul Ince.
Andrews ended a summer of speculation over his future when he completed a transfer to Premier League club Blackburn Rovers on 3 September 2008 in a three-year deal worth and rising up to £1m depending on appearances made for the football club over the coming years. The move temporarily reunited him with his former MK Dons manager Paul Ince before he was sacked as Rovers manager. He made his debut as a substitute on 6 September 2008 against West Ham United, a game in which Blackburn lost 4–1. Andrews made his home debut against Arsenal, on his 28th birthday, Arsenal went on to win the match 4–0. He scored his first goal for Blackburn in the 90th minute during a 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Due to injuries sustained by first team regulars, Andrews has featured frequently for the Rovers first team, occupying a defensive central midfield role. In July 2009, Andrews signed a new four-year deal, which will see him contracted to Blackburn until 2013. On 25 September 2010, Andrews came on for Steven Nzonzi on 66 minutes against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in a 2–1 win for his first game of the 2010–11 campaign. The 2010–11 season was a frustrating one for Andrews as he only made six appearances in all competitions for Rovers due to injury.
Andrews agreed to a six-month loan move to Ipswich Town on 12 August 2011. This loan includes an option to buy the player permanently. A day later he made his debut in a 1–0 loss to Hull City and then 3 days later his first goal came against Southampton. This was followed by goals against Peterborough United and Leeds United. Steve Kean, the head coach of Blackburn Rovers, hinted that Andrews’ may return to his parent club in January 2012, after a successful loan spell with Ipswich. This was contrary to Andrews’ ambitions, who when responding to reports that Paul Jewell, the Ipswich head coach, wanted to sign him on a permanent deal, stated in an interview with the BBC that, “I don’t particularly like the way I was treated at the club [Blackburn]. Not just the manager, the club in general.”
Andrews completed a late deadline day (31 January 2012) free transfer to Albion, after handing in a transfer request at Blackburn. Andrews signed a six month contract. On 12 February, Andrews scored his first goal for West Brom and their fourth against former club Wolves in a 5–1 win. Andrews then made it two goals in two appearances as he scored Albion’s fourth in a 4–0 victory over Sunderland two weeks later. Andrews then made it three wins in three appearances as he produced another solid performance in the 1–0 win over Chelsea.
Andrews become a free agent as his West Brom contract ended at the end of the season.
Andrews signed for newly relegated Football League Championship club Bolton Wanderers on 29 June 2012 after agreeing a three-year contract. He made his debut on 18 August in the away game at Burnley and on 22 December he scored his first goals for Bolton scoring twice from the penalty spot in their 5–4 defeat against Peterborough United
Following the permanent signing of Jay Spearing, Andrews first-team place at Bolton was no longer assured. On 9 August 2013, Andrews signed a season-long loan deal at fellow Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.] He scored his first goal for Brighton in a 1–1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on 1 October 2013.
On 24 July 2014, Andrews completed a move to fellow Championship side Watford joining on a season-long loan deal. Andrews made his Watford debut from the start in theLeague Cup first-round tie at Stevenage on 12 August 2014.
Andrews made his full international debut for the Republic of Ireland on 19 November 2008, coming on as a second half substitute and scoring a goal as part of a 3–2 home defeat in a friendly match against Poland. He played his first competitive match for Ireland, being unlucky to have a goal disallowed in a 2–1 World Cup qualification group match victory over Georgia. He was also present in Paris for France 1–1 Ireland (18 November 2009).
After being ever-present in Ireland’s midfield during their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, he missed the start of their UEFA Euro 2012 campaign due to an injury-hit Premier League season. He returned to the Irish squad for the Nations Cup games againstNorthern Ireland and Scotland. He made an instant comeback to the Irish team with a good all round performance against Northern Ireland.
On 7 June 2011, Andrews scored his second international goal in a 2–0 victory over four-time FIFA World Cup winners Italy in a friendly game in Liege, Belgium. His third international goal came in the shape of Ireland’s first goal, a header, in the 4–0 victory in the first leg of the UEFA Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia in Tallinn, the second leg of which secured qualification for UEFA Euro 2012 with a 1–1 draw in Dublin.
Andrews played every moment of Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2012, until the very end of the final game when he was sent off against Italy. On 10 June 2012, in Ireland’s first game of Group C against Croatia, Andrews failed to score despite having a number of clear shots on goal and actually succeeding in hitting the woodwork; Ireland fell to Croatia by a score of 3–1. Andrews’s poor luck continued in the following game as Ireland crashed out of the tournament, falling to Spain by a score of 4–0 on 14 June 2012, before he was led off the field in a rage after receiving a red card in Ireland’s final group game against Italy, a game the team lost 2–0. Thus Ireland finished the campaign bottom of Group C with no points, having conceded nine goals and equalling the worst performance by a team in European Championships history. Nevertheless, The Irish Times said he was “arguably Ireland’s best performer in the tournament”. Andrews was named as Irish Player of the Year for 2012. He finished his career on loan at Watford and returned to play 5 games at Milton Keynes Dons and then retired.