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11th Oct 2022

Roy Keane names pair of Irishmen as two of his favourite sportspeople

Niall McIntyre

,’The super-bowl is fantastic but an All-Ireland hurling final is really hard to beat’ – Roy Keane.

We’ll never tire of hearing that one.

Having supported Cork in last year’s Munster semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn and having appeared at last year’s All-Ireland quarter final in Croke Park, it’s no secret that Roy Keane is a big GAA fan. And a bigger Cork fan.

Keane, who grew up in the Mayfield area in the north-side of Cork city, has never forgotten his roots and no matter where he goes, whether it’s near or far or even to the Sky Sports studios of a Monday night, he won’t think twice about reminding people.

Monday Night Football took a turn towards a quick-fire round last night and, being a Rebel, Keane’s answers often came right back to home. First of all, he named the All-Ireland hurling final as his favourite sporting occasion and then when asked for his three favourite sportspeople, two of Keanes top three were Irishmen.

Unsurprisingly, as anyone who grew up in Cork during the 70s and 80s will agree, the legendary St Finbarr’s dual player Jimmy Barry Murphy is right up there for Keane. Barry Murphy, whose son Brian also became a professional footballer and manager, won 10 All-Irelands between hurling, football, club and county, in what is widely considered as the most iconic GAA careers ever.

“The GAA was a big part of my life, hurling, watching Jimmy Barry Murphy playing for Cork,” said Keane.

The Cork-man also named Muhammad Ali as a childhood hero, as well as another champion boxer, in Monaghan’s Barry McGuigan. Tyrone’s 1985 world champion snooker player Dennis Taylor also got a mention.

“As a young person growing up in Ireland, watching Barry McGuigan on the television fighting, we’d all be glued to it. There were brilliant Irish people also like Dennis Taylor, but Barry McGuigan would have to be up there yeah.”

On the same programme, and in the same section, Keane and Carragher were then asked for their top three current Premier League players. Carragher and Keane both agreed on De Bruyne and Haaland and while Carragher went with Virgil van Dijk for his third pick, Keane, on the other hand, went for Cristiano Ronaldo.