Roy Keane training ground story proves he could have made a handy goalkeeper too
"They didn’t even look at my goalkeeping skills."
Roy Keane was always pretty handy at whatever he was tasked to do on the football pitch.
He started off as a box-to-box midfielder, became the centre-piece of Manchester United's greatest ever side, popped up with big goals, covered in the centre of defence and was one of the best passers during his time in the Premier League.
As for playing in goal, Keane gave it a whirl in training - with United and Ireland - on a few occasions and often nagged Alex Ferguson about getting a friendly run-out in pre-season. Fabien Barthez would have been happy to swap places.
On Thursday, some were initially surprised to see Keane listed as No.1 in the Manchester United squad for September's Liam Miller Tribute Match in Cork.
— Andy Reid (@AndyReidXI) August 9, 2018
Keane has told reporters that he is hoping to get out on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch for a run-about. United have Roy Carroll and Kevin Pilkington coming to Cork for the game, but we reckon Keane could do a good job between the sticks if needs be.
He definitely has it in him.
When he was Sunderland manager, Keane signed Scotland international Craig Gordon for £9 million, from Hearts, in 2007. Sunderland paid a British transfer record for a goalkeeper, but Keane would end up making a show of Gordon in training.
Keane wasn't happy with a goal the keeper conceded, so thought he'd show them how it was done, and jumped in goal. As he recalls in his autobiography:
"I put the gloves on and I said that if they could get the ball past me I’d give them a thousand pounds each but, if they missed, they’d have to give me a hundred. Eight or nine players lined up, and I knew that Craig and the other goalkeepers were pissed off with it. They didn’t even look at my goalkeeping skills.
"They just did their stretches. I tipped a few on to the bar, on to the post, and I kept a clean sheet. I won eight hundred quid off the players – I could have lost eight grand. I was trying to generate a bit of banter, but I’d embarrassed, and maybe belittled, the goalkeepers. I hadn’t meant to.
"But I didn’t think the keeper should be beaten from 25 or 30 yards. I think I lost Craig for a few weeks, and maybe longer, because of that."
We're not surprised Roy was still the best player in training when he was a manager, but being the best goalkeeper too is just taking the p***.