Roy Keane

Keane colour background

Anyone catch that Keane v Vieira documentary the other week?

If you’ve watched any football on ITV recently, you’ll have seen national village idiot Adrian Chiles repeatedly flatulating over it like some sort of gammon whoopee cushion, each time turning to simper at sweet-tempered Roy with the distinct air of a man doing everything in his meagre powers to avoid having his intestines used to hoist the boom.

Well if you haven’t watched it, watch it.

The format is all very ‘Guy Ritchie’ but don’t let that put you off. Full-time philanthropist and jobbing babysitter Roy and the other bloke (who is actually rather charming) sit across the table from one another in an underground car park for an hour and a half and, between gratuitous squits of the Lock Stock soundtrack, exchange reminiscences about how sportingly they used to test the durability of one another’s shin pads. Apart from a nagging anxiety that Ray Winstone is going to lumber out from behind the nearest cack-smeared pillar at any moment to belch ‘My old man’s a dustman’, it’s a thoroughly bloody good watch.

Naturally, kindly Samaritan and nurser of injured animals back to health Roy steals the show.

Not least when the clever, clever interviewer broaches the subject of Sir Alex Ferguson.

One segment in particular shows just how blissfully unburdened tender-hearted Roy is by the least vestige of rancour or regret. He wouldn’t know a grudge if it put on a Leeds United kit, snapped his cruciate ligament and then told him to stop faking injury. No doubt in search of an approving pat on the head, our interviewer quotes an excerpt from Sir Alex’s first book in which the grand old man describes Keane’s awe-inspiring performance in the 1999 Champions League semi against Juventus:

“Pounding over every blade of grass, competing if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt as though it was an honour to be associated with such a player.”

The fucking nerve of that man. Does he kiss his wife with that mouth, d’you think? As you’d expect, this unprovoked tirade of blind hostility isn’t lost on gentle Roy who looks like someone has just shat in his leaf-blower.

“To be honest with you, I almost get offended when people throw quotes like that at me as if I’m supposed to be honoured by it,” he quite reasonably responds. “It’s like praising the postman for delivering your letters. He’s supposed to, isn’t he? That’s his job. My job is to try and win games for Manchester United.”

Then, of a particular dressing room confrontation, Sir Alex is said to observe: “his eyes started to narrow almost to wee, black beads. It was frightening to watch.”

Kindly Roy’s eyes instantly narrow to wee, black beads.

“Well, if you believe that,” he growls, choking out a sigh which one immediately clocks as the withered fruit of a FA-mandated anger-management course, “you’ll believe anything.”

Well alright, Roy. But only cos you’ve got an honest face.

Here’s a drawing of Roy’s honest face.

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