How can a footballer be mixed up with a Garda?

Alan Keane was speaking to Newstalk's SSE Airtiricity League Podcast

BY Daniel Kelly 14:15 Wednesday 10 May 2017, 14:15 10 May 2017

Alan Keane joined Sligo Rovers in 2009. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

When is a 'Garda' not a Garda?

If you're named as a member of An Garda Siochana on front of a local newspaper, most people will believe what they read. That was the position Alan Keane found himself in in 2009.

The right-back recently retired from professional football after spells at Galway United, Sligo Rovers, Dundalk and Crusaders. The Galway-born defender won two League of Ireland medals, three FAI Cups, a League Cup and Setanta Cup in his storied career.

Speaking to Newstalk's SSE Airtricity League Podcast, Keane admitted that most of Sligo assumed he was a Garda when he arrived at the club after leaving Galway United.

"I was never a member of An Garda Siochana," Keane joked. "I can remember that article with the picture on the front page of me in the Galway United jersey".

The article Keane refers to was written in The Sligo Champion in February 2009 about two Gardai "who tackled an armed gang who held a Galway family hostage".

One of those heroes was a Garda by the name of Alan Keane. The Sligo Champion wrote that the Garda in question was "a Galway United defender who is set to sign for Sligo Rovers this week".

"That Alan Keane actually was a Galway footballer," Keane revealed. "I actually know him quite well.

"When I came down [to Sligo] I kinda played along with it with the boys in the dressing room at the time. I had a little scar on my stomach and said; 'This is where the man stabbed me'. I was giving the story for ages."

The story is over nine years old, but Keane revealed he still gets asked about his time as a Garda.

"People still ask me about being in the Guards, and how did I juggle playing football with it."

You can listen to Keane's full interview on this week's Newstalk's SSE Airtiricity League Podcast, where he talks about his future plans and his career with Galway United, Sligo Rovers, Dundalk and Crusaders.

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