One of the managers who enjoyed a successful time at White Hart Lane and took the club from adversity to European glory, then quit.
A player who served his time as a half back with Wath Wanderers, Denaby United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Scunthorpe United. Keith was player/manager for 10 months (and groundsman and every other job you can imagine) at Workington in 1964-65, before he moved into coaching with Newcastle United, where he spent seven years. His worth to the North-East club was constantly under-estimated and when Newcastle won the 1973 Anglo-Italian Cup, the manager and players were given a bonus by the board, but not Keith Burkinshaw, who was coach to the team. The players pooled their bonuses and gave him a share. When Joe Harvey was sacked as manager iat the end of 1974-75, Burkinshaw went with him.
Little known when he came to Tottenham as a coach under Terry Neill in the summer of 1975 and was appointed on the manager's dismissal, but suffered relegation in his first season. However, he guided Spurs to immediate promotion back to Division 1 and then built a side that featured Argentinian World Cup stars Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa.
Became one of the most successful Spurs managers, with victories in the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 before taking Spurs on to win the UEFA Cup against Anderlecht in 1984. It was perhaps typical of the man that he left the club at the height of his success, after the UEFA Cup win, pointedly mentioning that "there used to be a football club over there" in a reference to the club being floated on the Stock Market and money taking over.
Much like one of his predecessors and his mentor who was brought back to the club under Burkinshaw's management - Bill Nicholson - a bluff Yorkshireman, who told it like it was and stood no nonsense in his team, Keith earned the respect of the men under him by being straight with them.
After Spurs he went on to coach the Bahrain national team before going to manage in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon, where he won the Portuguese Super Cup with them in 1986-87.
Came back to England in 1988 and managed Gillingham, before moving on to take his expertise to Swindon Town, West Bromwich Albion and Aberdeen as Director of Football and as a scout at Stoke City.
Worked for a while at the League Manager's Association before taking up the assistant manager's role at Watford under Adrian Boothroyd.