Keetch dies, aged 54

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The Independent Online
Bobby Keetch, the former Fulham and Queen's Park Rangers defender, and more recently the moving force behind the opening of the themed Football, Football restaurant in London, died on Saturday after a stroke. He was 54.

"It's like being hit by a sledgehammer, I can't take it in," Terry Venables said. "He was the greatest friend a man could have. Through all the times I've had when it was really bad, he would ring me every day. My thoughts are now with Jan, Nicola, Christian and Karl."

Keetch, born in east London, joined a Fulham side that included Johnny Haynes, Johnny Byrne, Jimmy Hill and Bobby Robson.

"He was a very unusual mix - tough on the field, an excellent, astute businessman and one of the boys at the same time," Jimmy Hill said. "He was a very rounded character, as cheeky as they come."

He left Fulham for QPR when Vic Buckingham attempted to instil a more professional approach at Craven Cottage.