Derby have terminated the contract of captain Richard Keogh “for gross misconduct” following an internal disciplinary hearing.
The 33-year-old Republic of Ireland defender suffered a serious knee injury after he was involved in a car accident with Wales international Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett on September 24.
Lawrence and Bennett, who later admitted to drink-driving charges, were both fined the equivalent of six weeks’ wages – the maximum contractual limit – by Derby.
A club statement on Wednesday evening following the hearing, read: “As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.”
Keogh joined the Rams from Coventry in 2012 and went on to make 356 appearances, leading Frank Lampard’s side to last season’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final against Aston Villa at Wembley.
A statement given to the PA news agency continued: “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.
“The club will be making no further comment at this time regards this matter, until the conclusion of any potential appeal.”
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 the Joiner’s Arms pub in Derby – but returned about 45 minutes later and were arrested.
Both players admitted 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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