Simon Keith

Simon Keith holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Keith was just 21 when, in July of 1986, he received the heart of a 17 year-old boy from Wales, who ironically died while playing soccer. Keith, a world-class soccer player prior to the operation, was determined to return to “his normal” and made his return to competitive soccer playing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). After playing two seasons with the Rebels, Keith garnered many honors including being named the Student-Athlete of Year for the Conference as well as voted as USA’s Most Courageous Athlete. After his senior season Keith named the Most Valuable Player at the Senior Bowl and was drafted number 1 overall into the Major Indoor Soccer League just three years after his surgery. [+]