James Karl McKeown (born 24 July 1989) is a professional footballer who plays for Grimsby Town as a goalkeeper.
He has previously played for Walsall, Peterborough United, Kettering Town, Worcester City, Boston United and RKSV Leonidas.
McKeown started his career with the Walsall youth system in 2004. He was promoted to the first team squad in 2005, but failed to make a first team appearances before his departure in 2007.
McKeown was signed by Peterborough United. He joined Conference North team Kettering Town on loan in August 2007 and made just one game on loan for Worcester City in October, in a 0–5 defeat against Hucknall Town, after being brought in on a month’s loan as cover for Danny McDonnell.
On 9 February 2008 Mckeown made his first appearance for Peterborough United in League Two, coming on as a 76th minute substitute for the injured Joe Lewis who was stretchered off following a nasty aerial collision. Mckeown signed a two-and-a-half year contract extension on 16 March 2009. The following season in League One he made one appearance on 2 May 2009 where he came off the bench in the 77th minute as Joe Lewis made way in the 2–2 draw with Swindon Town. During his time at Peterborough United he gained back to back promotions with the posh although McKeown was to make just four appearances in the Championship. His last appearance for the Posh was in the final game of the season though despite a 0–1 defeat against Blackpool he was named man of the match.Of special note during the game his best save was leaping spectacularly to keep out DJ Campbell’s sharp overhead kick at close range though he saw the same player spring from the ground to head in the rebound.
Mckeown joined Boston United in August 2010 on loan until January 2011. He played a key role in Boston’s excellent start to the season with 10 successive league clean sheets and had a total of 14 clean sheets in 18 games. On New Year’s Day he played his last game and received a fantastic reception and farewell from the Boston United supporters. However, despite his remarkable record of clean sheets and fantastic form whilst on loan at Boston Peterborough United came to an agreement with James that he should seek pastures new. McKeown spent a week at Lincoln City on trial and a one-off appearance for Boston United in the FA Trophy due to their keeper Dan Haystead being cup tied, he then signed for Dutch Rotterdam based semi-professional side RKSV Leonidas.
On Friday 23 June 2011 Grimsby Town announced they were in discussions to sign McKeown, following the club’s announcement to bring in a second choice keeper to challenge number one Kenny Arthur after Town had heavily relied upon Goalkeeping Coach Steve Croudson in the previous season.
On 2 July 2011 he signed a one-year contract with Town. McKeown was initially brought to the club as a back up keeper to challenge Kenny Arthur, but following an impressive pre-season he became the club’s first choice keeper. He made his league debut for Grimsby Town on 13 August 2011 in the 0–2 defeat against Fleetwood. A week later he saved what became a crucial penalty against Newport taken by Craig McAllister to earn his side a 0–0 draw. During the 2011–12 campaign McKeown picked up 3 yellow cards, each for time wasting. McKeown was also ever-present during the 2011–12 season helping Grimsby Town produce 18 clean sheets in 55 games. On 24 April 2012 McKeown picked up four awards for Player of the Year at the club’s annual presentation. On 30 April 2012 McKeown agreed to a new two-year contract with the club.
McKeown retained the Supporters Player of the Season award when he scooped the prize again once more for his part during the 2013-14 season.
On 16 August 2014, McKeown saved a crucial last-minute penalty, the game finishing 1–1, preventing Dover winning the game.
McKeown picked up the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year 2014–15 award on the 20 May 2015, at the The Non-League Paper’s National Game Awards in association with The NLFA, for keeping 23 clean sheets himself.
Mckeown has been capped at under 19s with the Republic of Ireland U19 and was selected in the 2009-2010 squad for the European championships for the Republic of Ireland U21 on the substitute bench in November 2009 against Georgia and Armenia.
|2007||Kettering Town (loan)||2||(0)|
|2007||Worcester City (loan)||1||(0)|
|2010–2011||Boston United (loan)||17||(0)|
|2007–2008||Republic of Ireland U19||?||(?)|