Nottingham Forest FC (England), Manchester United FC (England),
Celtic Glasgow (Scotland)
1999 Intercontinental Cup winner (Manchester United) 1994 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 1996 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 1997 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 1999 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 2000 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 2001 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 2003 Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 1996 FA Cup winner (Manchester United) 1999 FA Cup winner (Manchester United) 2004 FA Cup winner (Manchester United) 2003 League Cup Finals (Manchester United)
Roy Keane (born in Cork, August 10, 1971) is an Irish
footballer who currently plays for Celtic. He began his career
at Cobh Ramblers, then made his name at Nottingham Forest before
moving to Manchester United for a British record transfer fee in
1993. He was captain of the Irish national football team for a
number of years, representing his country in the 1994 World Cup
and playing a major role in their qualification for the 2002
World Cup before he was sent home after an argument with the
team's manager, Mick McCarthy. He was also captain for much of
his time at Manchester United, winning the FA Premier League
seven times and the FA Cup four times, and played a major role
in helping the team win the UEFA Champions League in 1999.
During his time at United, Keane was widely regarded as one of
the finest midfield players of his generation, known for his
inspirational leadership, excellent tackling and distribution
abilities. Although Keane attracted praise as a player, he also
had several disciplinary issues, notably being suspended twice
for the same foul on Alf Inge Haaland after admitting that the
foul was deliberate in his autobiography.
He is not related to fellow Irish footballer Robbie Keane.
Roy Keane first played football for local Cork club Rockmount,
before signing for the semi-professional Irish club Cobh
Ramblers in 1989. Scouts from Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest
took note of his talents and promptly signed him for the sum of
£10,000. Keane was quick to impress at Nottingham Forest, making
his professional league debut against Liverpool.
In 1991, Keane was a regular in the side, displacing the English
international midfield player Steve Hodge, and scored three
goals during a run to that season's FA Cup final, which Forest
ultimately lost to Tottenham Hotspur. A year later Keane
returned to Wembley with Forest for the League Cup final but
again finished on the losing side as Manchester United gained a
Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers competed to sign Keane
after Nottingham Forest's relegation in 1993. Manchester United
were successful, signing Keane for a then-record £3.75m transfer
fee. Keane immediately went into the first team, playing in
centre-midfield alongside Paul Ince.
After the retirement of Eric Cantona in 1997, Keane became team
captain, although he missed most of the 1997-98 season because
of a cruciate-ligament injury, caused by an attempt to foul the
Leeds United player Alf Inge Haaland. As Keane lay prone on the
ground, Haaland stood over Keane, accusing him of feigning
injury. United were top of the league at the time, but their
form dropped and they finished the season without a trophy.
Keane returned, however, to captain the club to an unprecedented
treble in 1999 including the FA Premier League, UEFA Champions
League and FA Cup. As a recognition for his efforts, Keane was
voted PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2000.
In 2001, Keane played against Alf-Inge Haaland for the first
time since their clash in 1998, and was sent off for a foul
which left Haaland with a serious injury. He subsequently
admitted in an autobiography that he intended "to hurt" Haaland.
Although Haaland retired from football shortly afterwards, he
had previously stated on his website that the cause of this was
a recurring problem in his leg, rather than Keane's tackle.
Keane was banned for five matches and fined £150,000.
Although he maintains a low profile off the pitch, Keane was
involved in several controversial incidents while at Manchester
United. In 1995, he was sent off from an FA Cup semi-final for
stamping on Gareth Southgate, for which he was suspended for
three matches and fined £5,000. In August 2002 he was fined two
weeks' wages, £150,000, and suspended for three matches for
elbowing Jason McAteer. This caused much anguish in the English
press as Keane booked himself in for a hip operation and thus
would have missed those three matches anyway.
Keane's trophy haul with Manchester United includes: 7
Premiership titles (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003), 4
FA Cups (1994, 1996, 1999, 2004), a European Cup (1999 - though
Keane missed the final through suspension) and an
Intercontinental Cup (1999). On February 5, 2005, Keane scored
his 50th goal for Manchester United in a league game against
Birmingham City. His appearance in the 2005 FA Cup final (which
United lost) was his seventh such game, an all-time record.
Keane was also picked on the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest
living footballers picked by Pelé.
Keane was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in
2004 in recognition of his undoubted impact on the English
Leaving Manchester United
Most recently, his criticism of several of his fellow Manchester
United players after an abject 4–1 defeat at the hands of
Middlesbrough was deemed too damning and was subsequently pulled
from transmission on United's own TV station, MUTV. Keane is
thought to have blasted Rio Ferdinand, John O'Shea, Alan Smith,
Kieran Richardson and, perhaps most notably, Darren Fletcher.
Keane was widely supported by Manchester United fans after the
He had announced that he would leave United in the summer of
2006, at the end of his contract with Manchester United. Many
people were expecting Keane to fulfill his dream of playing for
Celtic when he parted ways with his club of 12 years. He is
already training for his UEFA coaching badges. His then-manager
Sir Alex Ferguson had said that he wanted Keane to succeed him
as manager when he retires. However, in the wake of Keane's
tirade against his own teammates, Ferguson had gone coy over
Keane's prospects as a manager. In November 2005, Ferguson said
"young managers come along and people say this one will be
England manager or boss of this club, but two years later
they're not there. It's not an easy environment to come into, I
wouldn't forecast anything."
Keane unexpectedly left Manchester United on November 18, 2005,
during a protracted absence from the team due to injury. He
played his last game for Manchester United in September 2005,
which was a 0-0 against rivals Liverpool in which he sustained a
broken foot. Keane criticised the club's pre-season trip to
Portugal, branding it unprofessional — which triggered an
argument with assistant coach and one-time Real Madrid manager
Carlos Queiroz. He had already stated his belief that his
contract would be the last with the club and the aforementioned
MUTV transmission had frosted relations still further. There had
also been rumours of Ferguson threatening to strip him of club
captaincy for refusing for apologise for his MUTV outburst,
although some of the players concerned publicly backed him
Manchester United reached an agreement with Roy Keane allowing
him to leave the club immediately, and offered him a testimonial
in recognition of his 12½ years at Old Trafford. The club also
thanked him for his major contribution as a player. On 14
December, the BBC reported that Keane would sign with Celtic,
after agreeing to sign a contract in the region of £40,000 per
week, and he officially became a Celtic player the following day,
although the club denied the wage level reported in the media,
with Chief Executive Peter Lawwell stating that Keane would 'fit
within the current wage structure' - which is a maximum wage of
£22,500 per week .
Keane's Celtic career began in ignominious fashion as the
Glasgow giants crashed to a 2-1 defeat to lowly Clyde F.C. in
the Scottish Cup third round on 8 January 2006. Keane scored his
first Celtic goal a month later in a 2-1 Scottish league victory
over Falkirk F.C..
At international level, Keane has represented his country 66
times (as of September 2005). Keane was named Ireland's player
of the tournament at the 1994 World Cup in the USA. In 2001,
with Roy Keane putting in Man of the Match performances, Ireland
went undefeated against international soccer heavyweights
Portugal and the Netherlands, famously knocking out the Dutch to
qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.