The Premier League match between the Blades and Reading had already been heated before the ex-Northern Ireland international was brought on as a substitute midway through the second half. But before the play could resume, the red mist descended and Gillespie flung an elbow straight in the face of Reading’s Stephen Hunt, not once, but twice.
As a result, and in full of the linesman, the referee was left with no choice but to send Gillespie for an early bath in one of the most extraordinary incidents we’ve ever seen on a football pitch – sent off after just a few seconds on the field
Keith Gillespie (born 18 February 1975) is a Northern Irish, former professional footballer who plays as a winger for FC Mindwell in the Mid-Ulster Football League.
Gillespie signed for Sheffield United on 5 August 2005, signing a one-year contract. This was then extended to June 2007 a month later. In his first season at the club, Gillespie played a role in Sheffield United’s successful promotion campaign to the Premier League. Gillespie’s most memorable goal for Sheffield United came against Charlton, where he scored the winner in the 88th minute with a stunning volley from 25 yards. This goal was also a nominee for the December Goal of the Month competition, which Paul Scholes eventually won.
Gillespie earned 86 caps for Northern Ireland between 1994 and 2008, putting him 6th in their most capped players of all time. Towards the end of his career, he played for Glentoran in the Irish League and Longford Town in the League of Ireland. He had well-publicised issues with problem gambling during his career and has since spoken out about gambling.
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