50 years ago, Roy Maurice Keane was born in Cork, Ireland and five decades later he has left an unparalleled mark on the history of football.
The no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners midfielder is possibly the greatest footballer Ireland has ever produced and maybe one of the finest players that the Premier League has ever seen. The trophies and accolades that he achieved during his career speak for themselves as do his multitude of controversies.
Reckless tackles, the second most red cards in Premier League history and more manager disagreements than the boss of your local Tesco's have ever seen, but to maybe a younger football audience Keane is better known as an outspoken and – some might say – contrary pundit.
After a short stint in management, taking charge of Sunderland and Ipswich Town with mixed results, Keane started to appear in front of the camera as a pundit but he wasn't too fond of the idea, to begin with. During his time as Sunderland manager, he said he’d “rather go to the dentist" than listen to pundits on the television but he soon warmed to the role and has been regular on ITV since 2011, with the role broken up by assistant manager spells with Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
However, it is fair to say that it's been his last few years as a pundit on Sky Sports that Keane has flourished in the role and become something of an internet star due to his dislike and astonishment at the modern game, much to the delight of everyone else. Is it all for the cameras or genuine from Keane? We'd say a bit of both but there is no doubting this has made for some enjoyable television.
“Celebrations a bit over the top.”
Now, we will preface this list by saying that most of Keane’s funniest moments are down to his colleague Micah Richards being unable to keep a straight face at many of the Irishman’s reactions which, all in all, make the whole spectacle much more entertaining. Anyway, here is Roy showing his displeasure at Aston Villa celebrating their Premier League survival on the last day of the 19/20 season.
🗣 "Celebrations a bit over the top"
Roy Keane's reaction to Aston Villa celebrating surviving relegation https://t.co/4uf0FRiYhm
“If you can trap the ball you can play for your country these days.”
There is nothing that Keane doesn’t enjoy more than a heated argument with one of his colleagues. Here he is in February in a heated dispute with Jamie Redknapp over the Tottenham Hotspur squad. While Redknapp feels that a lot of the team are of a good quality due to having some players of international pedigree, Keane thinks they’re “average” and that “playing for your country doesn’t make you a top player.”
His casual reaction to England’s goal in the Euro 2020 final
From an England perspective, the Euro 2020 final was a rollercoaster of emotions and, although it ultimately ended in sadness, there was a small sense of euphoria after Luke Shaw opened the scoring just minutes into the game. As Wembley Stadium was rocking, Keane was the calmest man in the building and was even composed enough to stop a cup of tea from falling over.
Roy knows what’s important at times like this. 😂 https://t.co/wBAAs6Fhat
If you have any sort of investment in football you’ll be well aware of the combined XI tradition where pundits attempt to put together a fictional team composed of two famous sides. It sounds trivial but can actually get rather heated as displayed here when Jamie Carragher tells Keane that Ryan Giggs isn’t getting in his Manchester United 1999 and Liverpool 2020 combined XI. You could write a short story just off the back of Roy’s reaction to this news.
Happy 50th birthday to Roy Keane 🥳
Nothing beats this iconic moment with @Carra23 🤣
📹 - @skysports
As we said, much of the enjoyment you get from Keane is from Micah Richards finding it all completely hilarious. Here is Richards showing Keane a video someone made of the former Man Utd star dancing on Fifa. Richards, unfortunately, had to mute much of the clip. We can only imagine what the reaction was.
A lot of fans asked me to show Roy a funny video from TikTok and I wasn’t going to let you all down... I just can’t… https://t.co/HOLuY27AqZ
“I wouldn’t even let him on the bus after the match”
It’s fair to say that as a legend at the club Roy Keane has the right to voice his opinion about the current state and squad at Man Utd and he wasn’t pulling any punches in June 2020 when United faced Tottenham in north London. After a poor first-half performance, which saw Spurs leading 1-0 after the first 45 minutes, Keane lambasted most o the team but reserved special criticism for Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea who he said he was “sick to death of.” Keane’s passionate vitriol was so strong it almost descended into parody.
“I used to do this dance before, usually after a load of Barcadi and coke”
What we would give to see Keane pull some moves on the dancefloor. Anyway, we don’t think he will make a judge of Strictly Come Dancing any time soon, as he was thoroughly unimpressed with one of Jesse Lingard’s celebrations last season and we definitely didn’t have him down as a Bacardi and coke sort of man.
🗣 "I used to do this dance before, usually after a load of barcadi and coke." 🤣
Roy Keane judges Jesse Lingard's d… https://t.co/PmfuSyq2xi
When revisiting his famous tunnel bust-up with Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira at Highbury, Keane tried to downplay the situation as “not as bad as it looks” and even tried to pin the blame on Gary Neville who was “getting bullied.” Keane also played himself up as quite a “placid guy”. Whatever you say, Roy. We’re not going to argue.
“If Liverpool were playing in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them”
You don’t need us to tell you about the fierce rivalry between Liverpool and Man Utd so it shouldn’t have been surprised to hear Roy say in 2017 that he wouldn’t watch the team from Merseyside play even if they were in his back garden. Keane later clarified that the comments were made said “tongue in cheek” and that he has enormous respect for Liverpool. Still, it was pretty funny at the time.
Roy Keane: "If Liverpool were playing in my back garden, I wouldn't watch them." (🎥 @itvfootball)
If you’ve not checked out Keane’s Instagram then we can highly recommend it as a place to see a more humble and humorous side of the famed hard man. Here he is watering his garden and bragging about his ‘six pack.’ Check out those slippers too.
We’ll end on another classic piece of Roy and Micah content. Here is Richards talking about regretting times in his playing career when he didn’t play with a smile on his face. Keane isn’t a fan of this and claims he “never liked players who smiled.”
Bonus: Walking out of a quiz
Here’s a bonus slice of Roy from his playing days at United where he throws a strop after losing a quiz against the rest of the squad and coaching staff – and even accuses the quizmaster of changing the questions.