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1996 to present - Final Charge

Keith Ryan - pic Paul DennisThe loss of Martin O'Neill in the summer of 1995 was, to use a familiar word, a monumental blow to Wycombe. The arrival of Alan Smith were the start of times of change at Adams Park. Even sadder for Keith was the first of three major injuries that have plagued his time with Wycombe.

After returning from twelve months out with injury in January 1996, 'Rhino' fought his back into the side to make the No.8 shirt his own. He also started to get on the score sheet with a twin strike against the 'mighty' Burnley during a memorable 4-1 victory on a Saturday afternoon in March at Adams Park

Disaster then struck again during the opening pre-season friendly of 1996/97 when Keith was stretchered off against QPR. Once again Keith was out for practically twelve months and once again, when he returned, there would be another new face in the Manager's chair. John Gregory was now in charge and probably unaware of the true capability of Keith. That was until 'Rhino' hit a wonder goal in a Coca-Cola game at Fulham.

'Rhino' was a regular under Gregory and then Neil Smillie before the third injury set-back. This time it was against Bristol Rovers in August 1998 - a game best remembered for Dannie Bulman's bum goal. For Keith it meant another four month lay-off watching from the stands.

Quite how a footballer deals with a long term injury is down to the determination of the player and with three long spells out, there can be no doubt that Keith will always come back as if nothing had happened. Last season was a prime example. It has now got to the point where Wycombe fans are taking 'Rhino' for granted. And just when some people are ready to write him off, up he pops with a goal or a match winning tackle and don't forget that 'Carrollesque' run away to Wrexham. Keith had taken the ball from midfield to the edge of the box and was just ready to slot the ball home when Matt Brady stole the show and thumped the ball home instead. Keith's reaction after the game was typical in that he couldn't care who scored as long as we won the game.
His time came later in the season though when Lawrie Sanchez gave him a run up front in couple of games - with variable degrees of success. Two more goals against Colchester ensured that 1999/2000 was Keith's best scoring return in a season and a fitting lead-in to his testimonial year.

Keith Ryan - Player File and All time stats >>>
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Keith Ryan - pic Paul Dennis
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