Teddy Sheringham says Roy Keane didn't speak to him for three years at Man United
"He didn’t say a word to me for the next three-and-a-half years."
Teddy Sheringham has said that Roy Keane didn't speak to him for over three years at Manchester United following a dispute after a night out.
The pair were teammates at Man United during the club's most successful period, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the Red Devils won three consecutive Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
However, for the vast majority of their time at Old Trafford, Sheringham has revealed that the Treble teammates didn't talk to each other.
Teddy Sheringham: Roy Keane didn't speak to me for over three years at Man United.
The former England forward, who scored Man United's equaliser in the 1999 Champions League final, said that Keane stopped speaking to him mid-way through his first year at Old Trafford.
Sheringham says that some of the Man United players were on a night out during the 1997/98 season. They were sharing a lift home and there was a 'bit of banter' amongst the teammates until the mood abruptly changed.
"All of a sudden, Keany said, ‘Why don’t you f*** off back to London in your f***ing red Ferrari and your penthouse?'" Sheringham says in Manchester United, the Treble and All That, a new book about Alex Ferguson's team.
"I went ‘Eh?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, f*** off back to London'."
Sheringham says he fired back at Keane, who was out of action at the time due to a serious knee injury, and a row broke out before the two teammates were separated. Man United legends Denis Irwin, Peter Schmeichel, Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce were also in the minibus.
"I’m like, 'Are you coming for me, Keany?" Sheringham says. "Why are you coming for me, you Paddy? F***ing what?'
"And he went 'f*** off', and he goes on 'f***ing red Ferrari, penthouse...' And then he jumped round, still with his bad leg, got me by the tie, pulled me towards him, grappling with him.
"Suddenly everyone’s going 'what’s going on?' and pulling us apart. The rest of the players had to stop a brawl erupting in the minibus.
"And I’m saying, ‘No, what’s going on Keany? Let’s have it out. Why are you snapping at me for? I haven’t said anything to you'."
Sheringham and Keane at Man United.
Sheringham, who played for Man United between 1997 and 2001, says he went into training the next morning expecting a physical confrontation with Keane. The pair were in the dressing room together but, to the forward's surprise, his Irish teammate just ignored him.
"I walked in past him and I’m thinking he’s going to get up and boot me in the face. I’m thinking ‘here we go’,” the former Tottenham Hotspur striker said.
"And Keany gets up and walks out. He didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t say a word to me for the next three-and-a-half years.”
"After that, not a word. On the pitch, he didn’t say anything to me. Nothing socially for the next four years, not even in the dressing room."
Sheringham: Keane was Man United's most important player.
Sheringham says that he and his former teammate shook hands at a charity match after they both retired, and there appears to be no sign of lingering animosity between the pair.
The former England forward, who was also teammates with Keane at Nottingham Forest earlier in his career, praised the Irishman and believes that he was Man United's key player during their golden era. He also said he still doesn't know what sparked the dispute between them.
"There were so many great players at United but if Keany didn’t play we weren’t the same team," Sheringham said.
"I’d always loved Keany... I love his drive, his leadership, funny lad as well, comically. So, I was disappointed that that had happened because I’d never slagged him off. I didn’t want to be upset and fall out but that was the way he was going to be."
(First published on August 18, 2022).
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