Keith Andrews’ Bolton Wanderers career can probably be summed up in these terms; yeah that was a thing.
Andrews’ Bolton career never really took off as he played only 26 times for the club. He enjoyed three loan spells away from the Macron including a season on loan at this weekend’s opposition Brighton and Hove Albion. Andrews represented 12 clubs during his playing career, most notably a successful spell at Milton Keynes Dons.
He began his professional career at Wolverhampton Wanderers making 72 appearances and enjoying three loan spells away from Molineux. He became Wolves’ youngest captain in over 100 years for a match against Queens Park Rangers, at the age of 21, but in the most part struggled to hold down a regular first team place and was restricted to the bench. This was why he was sent out on loan to Oxford United, Stoke City and Walsall. He did though manage a single Premier League appearance for Wolves and managed to rack up most of his appearances for the club the next season after their relegation.
After his contract expired at the Birmingham club he moved onto Hull City. He only spent one season on Humberside. An injury restricted his appearances, picked up against his former club Wolves.
After his season at Hull he moved to then League Two side MK Dons. He became club captain that season when they missed out on promotion losing in the playoffs. The next season though was highly successful for Andrews. The Dons achieved promotion to League One and Andrews scored the goal which secured this for the club. He also scored in the clubs 2-0 win over Grimsby Town in the Football League Trophy at Wembley. On a personal note he was voted in the PFA Team of the Year, won the League Two player of the Year Award and was named as the 38th best player in the Football League out of 50 by FourFourTwo.
At the beginning of the next season he followed his former Dons manager Paul Ince to the Premier League and Blackburn Rovers. Due to injuries at the club Andrews became a first team regular and even signed a four year deal which would have kept him at the club until 2013. But the 2011 season was frustrating and he only made six appearances for the club due to injuries.
In 2011 he joined Ipswich Town on loan with an option to buy which he was keen to take up after the way he said Blackburn had treated him. This was after then Blackburn manager Steve Kean had said Andrews may return to the club.
But he did not end up at Ipswich instead signing for West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer having handed in a transfer request at Blackburn. He spent only the one season back in Birmingham making 14 appearances before his contract expired at the end of the season.
At this point Owen Coyle snapped him up on a free transfer. He signed a three year contract at the club and became one of the highest earners in the process. Despite his Bolton career never really getting going Andrews was a regular at the backend of our first season back in the Championship when we moved to the precipice of the playoff places.
But as Bolton missed out costs had to be cut and Andrews became a casualty of this as Dougie Freedman looked to free up the finds to bring Jay Spearing back to the club. This led to his loan move down south to Brighton where he made 35 appearances. Brighton that season achieved a playoff berth but of course missed out on promotion as QPR sealed their return to the Premier League.
He then spent the next season at Watford on a season long loan deal. He had a difficult time at the club though falling out with one of the many managers Watford have had over the last few season. The loan move was cut short and he returned to MK Dons for the remainder of the season.
Andrews made 35 appearances for Ireland after making his debut in 2008. This included every minute of Euro 2012 until he was sent off in the final group game against Italy. Ireland’s performance equalled the worst ever at a Euros but Andrews was credited as being arguably their best player in the tournament and was named Irish Player of the Year for 2012.
Following his retirement from playing over the summer Andrews became a first team coach at MK Dons, and a nation collectively exhaled with a massive 'meh'.