The most prolific goal scorer in Doncaster Rovers’ history, Derby-born Tom Keetley came from a family of eleven brothers and one sister. Five of his brothers played professional football, three of them (Harold, Joe and Frank) playing for Rovers. He joined from Bradford Park Avenue in 1923 and debuted in Rovers’ first match after returning to the Football League. Initially playing on the wing, he subsequently moved to centre-forward where he made a massive impact. He scored over 20 goals in each of his six seasons at Belle Vue, and in his final three seasons he scored 112 goals in 110 League games, a record of just over a goal a game.
Tom scored more hat-tricks than any other Rovers player, and on 14 occasions scored three or more in a game. His best match return came on 16th February 1929 when he scored a club-record six goals in a 7-4 League win at Ashington. That season, his final one at Rovers, was his best as he scored 40 goals in 32 League appearances, a record that was beaten only by Clarrie Jordan’s remarkable feats in 1946-47. His overall totals of 180 League goals and 185 in all senior matches are club records that are likely to stand for all time.
Tom left Rovers in the summer of 1929 because he wanted to be closer to his family in Derby. He joined Notts County and over the next four seasons he scored 94 League goals in 103 appearances for the Magpies, helping them to promotion to Division Two in his first season. He remains a legend at Meadow Lane and is 29th in the list of all-time League goal scorers in England and Scotland. After his football career, Tom became the licensee of the Rose and Crown at Chellaston, Derby and died in 1958, aged 59.
Rovers Debut: 25th August 1923, Division Three (North) vs. Wigan Borough (home) Drew 0-0.
Final game: 1st May 1929, Division Three (North) vs. Wigan Borough (home). Lost 1-2.
Rovers Career: Football League: 231 appearances, 180 goals. All senior games: 240 appearances, 185 goals.
Honours with Rovers: None