By 90Min
May 03, 2018

Born: 10 December 1970, Salford, England

Age: 47

Age in 2005: 34

Premier League Clubs: Charlton Athletic (1999-2006), Portsmouth (2006-07), West Bromwich Albion (2007-11)

Position: Goalkeeper


When Dean Laurence Kiely stood up and declared, "the one person who should know about me is me", you'd be forgiven for thinking he was paraphrasing the musings of 17th century French philosopher, Rene Descartes. 

However, these were in fact the original words of a proud and passionate man who, when prompted (or sometimes just for a laugh) could recite his entire career statistics to the exact date, without so much as flinching. Thirteen appearances for England Under-15s, eleven appearances for Luton Town, zero appearances during a loan spell at Ipswich, the list goes on. 

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

(Above: The number of people who should know about Dean Kiely, according to Dean Kiely)

Nevertheless, during his playing days, Kiely was much more than just a walking encyclopaedia of himself. Beginning his career amongst the youth ranks of Coventry and West Brom, Deano soon made the leap to first team goalkeeper in 1990 when he signed for York City in the fourth division of English football, turning out for them somewhere in the region of two to three hundred times. 

However, it was at Charlton Athletic in the Premier League where things really took off for the man between the sticks. Signing for approximately £1m in 1999, it wasn't long before Kiely became the club's number one, earning a reputation for his penalty saving and being-able-to-tell-you-how-many-penalties-he'd-saved abilities. 

Then, after just two seasons into his stay with the Addicks, controversy struck after Deano was involved in a training ground fracas with fellow teammate Andy Todd, which resulted in the centre-back being put up for sale and Kiely nursing a black eye. Asked on how he felt about the incident, Kiely this time seemed to paraphrase the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche when he stated, "Todd has been transfer listed".

Craig Prentis/GettyImages

(Above: Surprisingly, Kiely couldn't remember how many penalties he hadn't saved)

Meanwhile on the international scene - and clearly at this point not quite knowing as much about who he was as he would later declare - Kiely went from playing for England at youth level to starring for the Republic of Ireland as a senior, making his debut as a substitute against Turkey in 1999. He earned eight caps for the Irish before quitting in order to focus on maintaining Charlton's mid-to-low table position. 

He then returned a few years later, made a couple more appearances before storming out, this time after being replaced by the debutant Kieran Westwood in a friendly against Nigeria. Expressing his dismay at losing such a vital member of the side, then Republic of Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni stated "I'm a bit disappointed", before instantly calling up Paddy Kenny as replacement. 

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

(Above: A rare shot of Kiely staying put for the Republic of Ireland national team)

Following Charlton's relegation from the Premier League in 2007, Mean Dean made the heart-wrenching decision to leave the Valley, stating, "My goal is to play at the highest level possible", before signing on loan as third-choice keeper with Luton Town. 

A four year stint at West Brom followed, where he was to play second-fiddle to Scott Carson, giving him time to fulfil his other long term ambitions, such as putting his entire career statistics into a colourful pie chart and showing it off to all his mates. He retired as a player at the end of the 2010/11 season, having made roughly, but not necessarily, 600 or so appearances, scoring zero goals, and storming out twice.

Where is he now?

In the rare occasions that Kiely is not checking for errors on the Wikipedia page he wrote for himself or paraphrasing philosophers, he coaches other goalkeepers on how to remember their career statistics by heart. And save shots.

What did he say?

"I can’t do anything about my age."

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