Labour MP Alan Keen dies after cancer battle
- 14 November 2011
- From the section UK Politics
The Labour MP Alan Keen has died at the age of 73 after what ex-PM Gordon Brown called a "heroic fight" against cancer.
Mr Keen, whose wife Ann is a former Labour MP and health minister, had been MP for the London constituency of Feltham and Heston since 1992.
He was chairman of Parliament's all-party football group and spent 18 years before becoming an MP as a scout for Middlesbrough football club.
Mr Keen is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
As well as being chairman of the all-party football group, he was also chairman of the equivalent athletics group and a member of the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee.
His time as a football scout included the period when Jackie Charlton was Middlesbrough manager, and he claimed part of the credit for bringing Graeme Souness to the club.
Announcing the death, which happened last Thursday, Mr Brown said in a statement: "Alan was a great MP, locally popular, a diligent London MP, and a great fighter for local causes.
"I salute his bravery in facing cancer - fighting it as long as he could - and he will be remembered as someone who taught us how to fight illness. As he acknowledged, the NHS could not have done more to be of help and support."
Tony Blair, Mr Brown's predecessor as prime minister, said Mr Keen would be "much-missed" as a "hard working" MP and "a dedicated constituency campaigner".
"In the north east he will be remembered for his time as a scout with Middlesbrough," Mr Blair said.
"He brought that passion for football with him to Westminster and was a fantastic advocate for sport as a force for good in society through all his years in the Commons."
Mr Brown's successor as Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said: "Alan Keen was a decent, generous man... Labour to his core - loyal, passionate about social justice and deeply committed to a fairer society.
"Alan was great friend to me and he will be sorely missed by all."
Mr Keen was born in London and brought up in Redcar, on the North East coast near Middlesbrough, before serving in the British Army for three years. He later joined the fire protection industry.
He was a member of Hounslow Borough Council from 1986-90 before entering Parliament in 1992.
Mr Keen and his wife Ann, who he married in 1980 and who was MP for the neighbouring seat of Brentford and Isleworth, made headlines ahead of the 2010 election over their expenses claims.
They were asked to pay back £1,500 claimed for a second home while their other house was boarded up during prolonged refurbishment work.
Mr Keen had a majority of 4,658 in the 2010 election.