Exclusive: Preston’s Will Keane Draws on His Family Legacy to Spur on His Own Path

The 31-year-old striker reflects on his career, support from his brother Michael Keane and father-in-law Adrian Heath, and his determination to lead Preston to success. Read more about Keane's journey, family influences, and ambitions for the future.

Neil Goulding
Neil Goulding

Last Updated: 2024-07-01

Louis Hobbs

6 minutes read


Will Keane has never had to look far for football inspiration. The Preston striker was the Lancashire club’s top-scorer last season with 13 goals as the Lilywhites narrowly missed out on the Championship play-offs.

Footballing Bloodlines

When the 31-year-olds’s not banging in the goals for fun, the former Manchester United hitman has two famous footballing family members who he can talk to for welcome advise.

Keane’s brother is the England and Everton defender Michael – and his father-in-law is Everton and Burnley legend Adrian Heath.

The trio are footie-mad, so football is the usual topic of conversation, and Keane has loved picking the brains of former FA Cup winner Heath, whose daughter Megan he married.

“It’s just good to talk to him (Adrian) about football,” Keane told

“He’s been in the game for such a long time and has great knowledge.”

“And, having been a manager, he looks at things differently with a tactical slant on things, which is good.”

“It’s good to talk to him about the (Preston) team, the way we play and great to be able to have those discussions whenever you need them.”

“He’s pretty football obsessed. He’s watched me in plenty of games, it’s great to have him around.”

Image Credits:  Sky Sports

Image Credits: Sky Sports

Learning from a Living Legend

Keane and Heath’s daughter Megan met when they were teenagers and share two kids, and like his father-in-law, they will often me at Deepdale to cheer on their dad and celebrate him banging in the goals for fun.

“I’ve been with my wife ever since I was 18 or 19, so I’ve known him (Adrian) for a long time,” added Keane.

“But I actually didn’t know him before then, it was Warren Joyce, my reserve coach at Manchester United, who was friends with him.”

“I think Adrian called Warren asking about me. The best thing was though that Warren thought it was about me as a player, but it turned out he wasn’t bothered about that, he wanted to know about the lad who is dating his daughter. He was doing his due diligence, ‘is this lad good enough for my daughter’.

“Me and Meg have got a couple of kids together – a boy and a girl - my lad is four now and footie-mad. They all come to the games, and I’ve always had a family connection to football with my brother playing for Everton.”

quote icon

It certainly runs in the family between me, Adrian and Mike.

Will Keane

A Legacy of Achievements

Heath enjoyed an impressive career with 703 appearances and 151 goals to boot.

He won the First Division twice during a decorated 25-year spell in the professional game, as well as the FA Cup in 1984, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and no fewer than four FA Charity Shields.

“I’ve definitely heard a couple of times from him winning the FA Cup,” teased Keane.

“So, yeah, I definitely know the importance of it! He’s spoken to me a lot about the magic of the cup and how it’s one of the greatest achievements he’s ever had.”

“He’s spoke about his experiences [of playing in it]. It’s great to hear about them, it inspires me and hopefully makes me want to go on and have some of those memories,” Keane concluded. 

Neil Goulding
Neil GouldingSenior Sports Reporter

Neil has been a journalist for longer than he'd care to remember, having written for national newspapers and respected publications for over 25 years. For the last three years he has worked freelance for BBC Sport, working on the production desk as a sub-editor and also as a writer, covering a whole range of sports.