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30th Mar 2023

The Roy Keane selfie story that shows he is a softy at heart

Patrick McCarry

Roy Keane

“The media would often like to paint a picture of this isolated figure – this madman that everybody was afraid to approach.”

There have been enough awkward Roy Keane selfie and autograph moments, over the years, for most folks to think twice before approaching the former Manchester United and Ireland captain to chance their arm.

Last season, Keane was happy to stop and sign a few autographs for fans outside Old Trafford – even as he was trying to make a quick exit – but took exception to a loud supporter that wanted him to stick around to sign some memorabilia. Earlier this year, he shooed away a selfie-hunting American Football fan at an NFL game, in London.

Keane may not often be too keen to stick around and get into a raft of photos but he is conscious of being that in-demand character. He remains popular as a Sky Sports and ITV pundit even though he stopped playing 18 years ago [aside from the odd media game at major tournaments].

On House of Football [LISTEN from 16:20 below], Ian Harte discussed what it was like to play with Keane, for Ireland, and under him when he was Sunderland manager. Eric Lalor also shared a selfie story that Keane would never been too keen to advertise.

Roy KeaneIan Wright and Roy Keane on punditry duty for ITV Sport, at Old Trafford. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The Roy Keane selfie story

Ian Harte recalled how Roy Keane had transitioned from player to manager, during his spell at Sunderland, and yet kept up the demand for high standards. Eric Lalor then explained why, with the Cork native, his reputation often precedes him.

“I was doing a gig at the Irish soccer writer awards, a few years ago. Roy and Martin O’Neill were in charge of the Irish team, at the time.

“It was a big, black-tie affair. I went on stage, and Roy Keane was my idol, my hero. Before I started the gig, I got everyone’s attention and said, ‘Roy, I have to ask. Can me and you get a selfie after this?’

“I knew what his answer was going to be. And he just cut me down – ‘NO!’ – and the whole place exploded, laughing. I was off and running.

“I did about 25 minutes of a set and Roy, when I was looking down, was laughing a bit… When the gig was over, I was walking past him. He leaned back in his chair, he grabs me and goes, ‘That was very funny, I really enjoyed that. Of course you can have a selfie but let’s go outside in the lobby. Because if we do it here, everyone will be asking for one’.”

“He stuck to his word,” Lalor added. “That was a side to Roy I thought I’d never see, because I thought I’d be there trembling in his presence.”

As others have discovered, over the years, there is an awful soft side to Roy Keane… if you find him on a good day.

Eric Lalor and Damien Delaney are joined by Ireland and Leeds legend Ian Harte on the first episode of the House of Football.

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