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09th Aug 2019

Jon Walters isn’t scared of Roy Keane

Jack O'Toole

Sponsored by Paddy Power

“For me he’s not someone to be scared of”

Jon Walters has had his differences with Roy Keane. The two clashed heads during the dog days of the Martin O’Neill and Keane era with the Republic of Ireland but they also squared off with each other during their time together at Ipswich Town.

Walters spent four seasons at Ipswich before moving to Stoke City at the start of the 2010-11 season for a fee believed to be around £2.75 million.

According to Walters, Ipswich were adamant that he would not be leaving the club unless their valuation was met which led to some frosty exchanges between the former Ireland forward and Roy Keane.

“I had a great time at Ipswich but every transfer window we had people coming in,” Walters said on JOE’s new football show Liquid Football, with Paddy Power.

“We had Jim Magilton as manager at the time and we were turning down four or five million moves to go to the Premier League.

“I was 27 or 28 at the time and I was thinking ‘I’m not going to get the chance to play again’. I carried on and then Roy Keane came in.

“I remember we played over in Cork and I had a nightmare in a game. I think we all did. He came in and it was one of his first games and he battered us.

“He came to me and went like ‘pffft! £4.5 million for you?’

“I’d chop his arm off for that. I was thinking ‘oh yeah great, first game, fantastic’ but I went on and did really well and carried on and ended up being captain there.

“Other clubs were still coming in from me and I was getting a little bit older. We weren’t doing too well in the league and to go play Premier League football after being at Ipswich for four or five years and then to move closer to home, you might not get that chance again.

“I had a knock on the door and asked can I have a word. I said ‘look I know clubs are coming in for me’ and he said ‘how do you know?’

“I know that clubs are coming in, you’re not meant to know, but you do know and they said if it was the right offer they’d let me go but only if they match our evaluation so that was going on for about two or three weeks.

“You’re not meant to know what’s going on but agents speak to agents and everyone knows. I knock on the door a second time and it was like ‘I’ve told you once that you’re not going unless they meet our evaluation and they haven’t met our evaluation so you’re not going’.

“I was like ‘ohh piss off or this is a fucking joke this’ and he said ‘who do you think you’re talking to?’

“Then it switched back to me and I said ‘I’m talking to you’. Then for the next 15 or 2 0 minutes he took his watch off and his jumper off and we went head-to-head in his office. Like kids.

“This went on for about 10 or 15 minutes then I went to go out again, said something else, came back in and went back head to head, made all sorts of threats.”

Keane was revered as a player but has struggled as a manager following his Sunderland years, where he guided the club to Premier League promotion.

He has since had stints with Ipswich, Aston Villa, Ireland and Nottingham Forest following his days with Sunderland but for Walters the former Manchester United captain is not someone to be intimidated by.

“For me he was a good player and a good tackler and all that but for me he’s not someone to be scared of, for me anyway. All that was said in the conversation we had and all the lads could hear what was going on and they said ‘I can’t believe you did that’.

“All the lads were training and then I was running around with the kids half thinking ‘oh no what have I done’ but then half laughing to myself. They all knew what was going on but the next day I was gone.