Local derby splits loyalties for former National League goalscoring great

Saturday’s local derby between North Shore United and Northern Rovers will test the loyalties of former top striker Brian McKeown.

In the 1980s, McKeown played 152 National League games for North Shore United, scoring 74 goals.

But on Saturday, he’ll watch son Jason turn out for Northern Rovers in their Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship clash at Allen Hill Stadium.

Perth-based McKeown (Snr,) now in his sixties, is visiting family in Auckland and in the lead-up to the derby, he caught up with former clubmates at a ‘Friday Cuppa’ day held by North Shore United.

Main photo: Brian McKeown (right) is re-united with former teammate Alan Yates at Shore’s ‘Friday Cuppa’ session.

Jason McKeown (33) joined Northern Rovers this season after playing for East Coast Bays since his schooldays.

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Both McKeowns have had Chatham Cup success.

Brian won the cup in 1986, winning a two-legged final with North Shore against Mt Maunganui, and scoring in the second leg.

Jason was a member of the East Coast Bays side that won the Chatham Cup in 2008.

Brian was twice the runner-up in the National League’s Golden Boot, finishing behind New Zealand international Keith Nelson in 1981 and 1982.

After hanging up his boots, he coached East Coast Bays to the Northern League title in 1989.

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