Clinton Morrison provides dramatic account of Keane and McCarthy's Saipan feud 5 months ago

Clinton Morrison provides dramatic account of Keane and McCarthy's Saipan feud

Roy Keane's infamous fallout with Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has been well documented.

Keane and McCarthy went head-to-head during Ireland's 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign with the former Manchester United captain famously leaving the Irish squad in Saipan after a dispute over conditions.

Keane's walkout has been told countless times by members of that World Cup squad while Morrison added that the Corkonian threw in a line about McCarthy's origin.

“Mick said to us, ‘no one is allowed to do any interviews’," he said on TalkSport.

“I used to get on with Roy. I used to like getting in his brain and I still speak to him now, I think he’s a wonderful guy. He told me: ‘Make sure you’re here not to make up the numbers, Clinton. You’re here to play.’

“We spoke for an hour and then we went for dinner and we always had a sing-song, so I’m there signing my Irish songs, as I do, and Mick comes in with a paper.

“Roy had obviously had a moan [to the press] about the facilities, and Mick said: ‘I told you not to do any interviews, so why have you done this?’

“Roy said: ‘I did an interview because I wanted to. The set-up, the surroundings, they have not been good enough’.

“They started arguing. I’m thinking, hang on a minute, our best player, the best player Ireland have probably produced for many, many years is there arguing with the manager and the whole squad is watching it.

“He said to Mick: ‘You were a bad player anyway, you had a rubbish first touch and you’re a poor manager. The only manager I respect is Sir Alex Ferguson'.

“Then he said: ‘And you’re English, you’re not even Irish!’

“As soon as he said that, I think most people who were born in England put their head under the table. I know I did. I was thinking, please don’t come for me!

“I don’t know if it would have come to blows, but Roy was steaming!

“I think Mick could have done it in a different way, spoke to him one-on-one, because Roy was always ready to blow back then, always fighting things and always ready to go into one.

“They got separated and Roy stood there and said: ‘Go on, Mick. What are you going to do? Make a decision.’

“So he had to send him home and, literally within two days, he was back in Manchester wearing that horrendous Diadora tracksuit he used to wear walking his dog.

“I couldn’t believe it!”

However, former international teammate Kevin Kilbane seemed to take exception with Morrison's version of events.

McCarthy said that he was sick of talking about the incident after he was named Republic of Ireland manager last year and insisted that he still had the utmost respect for Keane despite their previous differences.

"I honestly believe that both my career and Roy's career shouldn’t be remembered or shouldn't be determined by that.

"Because (we) both had successful playing careers, him an unbelievable one, far better than me. And I've had a pretty successful career as a manager.

"I'd like to be remembered for that, and I think Roy, in Ireland, should be remembered for what a wonderful player he was. And for the fact that when we got to Saipan, he was a big part of that, instrumental.

"I have the utmost respect for him for that. So, if people want to talk about that, good luck, I won't be answering any more questions about that."