We were saddened to learn of the passing on November 12, aged 58, of our former player Keith Weller.
Keith spent the early part of his career on our books as a forward before moving on for spells with Millwall, Chelsea and Leicester City — gaining four England caps as a midfield player in 1974 — and ending his playing days in the United States.
Born at Islington on June 11, 1946, Keith Weller gained representative honours for Islington, Hackney and Middlesex schoolboys — making five appearances for the latter.
On leaving school he worked as a floor-layer, laying lino, PVC and thermoplastic flooring. He applied for a trial with Arsenal, who he had supported as a boy, and made a few appearances for their South East Counties League team during season 1961-62. The following campaign saw him feature for Arlington Boys Club and it was whilst playing for them that he was spotted by us and invited to sign amateur forms which he did during December, 1962.
Having netted twice for our youth team against Bexley United on August 24, 1963, season 1963-64 was spent mainly in our Metropolitan League ‘A’ team. His debut for our third XI was in a 3-1 home win over Charlton on September 21 and his first goal followed on his third appearance a fortnight later against Romford. January, 1964 saw him sign professional forms for us to bring an end to his three year stint as a floor-layer. By the end of the season Keith had made two appearances for our reserve team.
Chiefly playing at outside right, he was a regular in our Combination team during 1964-65 and emerged to make his Football League debut versus Wolves on March 27, 1965. Level pegging 1-1 at half time, the final score was 7-4 in our favour!
Over the next two years Keith amassed 21 league appearances, scoring one goal — in a 2-2 home draw with Newcastle on January 15, 1966. He played in a variety of forward positions, appearing at outside right, inside left and outside left whilst totting up 46 goals in 120 appearances for our second and third XI’s. Amongst his winners medals gained here were the ADO The Hague youth tournament in 1965 and Football Combination championships in both 1965-66 and 1966-67.
Keith left us to join Millwall on June 5, 1967 for a reported £18,000 fee scoring 41 goals in 135 senior appearances during his three years there. He moved on to Chelsea during May, 1970 in a £100,000 transfer and gained a European Cup-Winners Cup medal the following year, netting 15 goals in 54 senior games. An eight year stint with Leicester City from September, 1971 yielded 47 goals in 305 league and cup matches.
On March 27, 1973 Keith played for the Football League XI against the Scottish League in a 2-2 draw at Hampden Park. May, 1974 saw him gain each of his four England caps, featuring in the 2-0 win over Wales at Cardiff on the 11th; scoring the only goal at Wembley against Northern Ireland four days later; face the Scots at Hampden on the 18th and Argentina at Wembley on the 22nd.
The Summer of 1978 was spent with NASL club New England Tea Men and Keith made the permanent move to America during February, 1979, netting four goals in 73 appearances before joining Fort Lauderdale Strikers during July, 1980. Seven goals in 77 games followed until signing for indoor league side Tacoma Stars in 1984. Keith remained on their coaching staff until the early months of 1993.
Based in recent years near Seattle, Keith opened a coffee shop and also worked as a driver for a television company. Diagnosed with a form of cancer affecting the bowel two years ago, Keith sought alternative remedies in Mexico with the help of donations from his previous clubs including Leicester, Millwall and Tottenham.
Keith passed away at his home in Seattle and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.