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04th Dec 2021

Roy Keane defends Stoke and Blackburn despite ‘nasty’ fan comments

Patrick McCarry

‘I half went after one of them… ‘

When a video of Roy Keane clashing with a man outside Old Trafford, after Manchester United lost to Manchester City, gained traction last month, it saw many come to the Cork native’s defence.

Keane had been signing autographs and posing for a couple of quick pictures as he tried to leave the concourse outside the stadium as discreetly as possible when you are who he is. When he refused to sign jerseys that he believed were only going to get sold on by a dealer, he was abused by another nearby fan.

The former Manchester United captain was seen admonishing a man that was looking to get a jersey signed before he disappeared off into the crowd.

In an interview with David Walsh in The Sunday Times, Keane gave his take on his interaction with a couple of more boisterous members of the crowd at Old Trafford.

“This guy stops me,” said Keane. “He’s got two jerseys. Dealers, they know when you’ll be coming out after the TV. They spot you a mile away, they’re waiting. Who goes to watch United against City with two replica Keane 16 shirts in a plastic bag?”

Keane says he was acting in a very mature manner and was having ‘a normal chat with a punter who’s annoying me’. He went on to explain that he could potentially have 50 such interactions on any given day, if there’s a crowd about.

The former United and Ireland captain also revealed that he has endured much more unsettling interactions with fans of rival sides, particularly when he would scout at Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City games.

“Strangely enough,” he commented, “it’s never usually Irish wanker. It’s always Irish c**t, whether they think that rhymes or not, I don’t know.

“No, the Irish c**t gets thrown at me, definitely. On two occasions when I was doing my stuff [assistant manager] for Ireland, at Stoke and Blackburn, outside the ground, people called me an Irish c**t . I half went after one of them, but he disappeared into the crowd.

“Bizarrely when I’ve gone to Stoke and Blackburn to watch Irish players, these were the two best clubs in terms of looking after me. So I’m not labelling the clubs.”

Keane is open to the idea of getting back into football management. He has not held a coaching role since himself and Martin O’Neill departed Nottingham Forest in 2019. Of late, he has been working as a pundit on ITV and Sky Sports.

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