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Derby sack Keogh for 'gross misconduct' after car crash

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London (AFP)

Derby captain Richard Keogh has been sacked by the Championship club "for gross misconduct" following an internal disciplinary hearing.

Keogh suffered a serious knee injury after the Republic of Ireland defender was involved in a car accident with Derby team-mates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett on September 24.

The 33-year-old, who was in the back seat of Lawrence's car when it crashed into a lamp post, sustained serious knee ligament damage that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for more than a year.

Lawrence and Bennett, who later admitted to drink-driving charges, were both fined the equivalent of six weeks' wages by Derby.

But Keogh has been axed after reportedly refusing the club's request to take a pay cut.

"Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days," a Derby statement said on Wednesday.

"As we have said from the outset, the club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute."

Lawrence, 25, and Bennett, 23, appeared in court to answer charges of drink-driving on October 15.

The pair had initially fled from the scene of the crash, which happened after a team-bonding day that finished in a local bar.

They returned about 45 minutes later and were arrested, with both admitting drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

They were ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work and were disqualified from driving for two years.

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