July 12, 2024

Roy Keane – Autobiography Contradictions

roy-keane-autobiography (1)

One thing that is striking about Roy Keane’s autobiography is that it is riddled with some obvious contradictions. Also some things that he writes in his book have been subsequently contradicted by his words and deeds elsewhere. Admittedly Keane’s autobiography was written several years ago and the passage of time can throw up apparent contradictions or anomalies. Notwithstanding the fact that a number of years have elapsed the contradictions listed below reveal, at best, confused thinking, or at worst, attempts to mislead.

Keane and Grudges

In a 1991 FA Cup tie match against Crystal Palace Roy Keane under hit a back pass to the Forest goalkeeper. John Salako of Palace latched on to it before the Forest keeper, Crossley, got to the ball. Salako scored the equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw. Back in the dressing room the Nottingham Forest manager, Brian Clough, punched him in the face, decking him for the sloppy back-pass. Keane says that he was shocked but didn’t react. Surprisingly for a man who detests bullies this was a surprising reaction and his subsequent attitude to the event, “Knowing the pressure he was under, I didn’t hold this incident against him.” [Page 38] was even more surprising.

A year later Roy Keane had a row with Jack Charlton in Boston 1992 when the drunk twenty year old Keane arrived back late for the team bus. Jack Charlton began to take Keane to task for keeping everyone else waiting. Keane says that he faced him down and the “…bully” Charlton “…backed off.” Mick McCarthy, the team captain and senior pro, then became involved. Keane told McCarthy to, “Go and f**k yourself.”[Page 61].

How is it possible that Roy Keane didn’t hold any grudges against a man that punched him, because he made an error on the soccer pitch, yet he held a major grudge against Mick McCarthy for ten years because he justifiably took issue with Roy Keane because he arrived back drunk and late to the team bus?


In the early stages of his Nottingham Forest days Roy Keane said that he was disgusted by his fellow reserve players. They were whinging a lot of the time. “I…vowed never to become a whinger”[Page 26]. This is quite ironic because Keane’s autobiography comes across as a one long whinge about the Republic of Ireland and the two managers of Ireland that he played for during his international career. In the latter part of his Manchester United his career was marked by significant bouts of whinging. The ‘prawn sandwich’ whine comes to mind and indeed the final straw for Sir Alex Ferguson was “…his MUTV rant…” [Manchester United: The Biography; Jim White Pages 395-397] where he complaint bitterly about his United team mates.

Team Meetings about Roy Keane

One of Roy Keane’s greatest objections about the whole Saipan incident was that Mick McCarthy called a team meeting to thrash out the issues raised in the Tom Humphries interview. Keane felt that the Irish manager had called the meeting specifically about him and he resented that deeply. However this wasn’t the first time that a manager had called a team meeting specifically about Keane.

In December 1997, three months into his recovery from the cruciate ligament injury, Roy Keane decided upon a “double celebration”[Page 176] during the Christmas party season at United. Having joined the reserves, and getting into a row with a barman, he was intent upon partying with the first team the next night. Alex Ferguson had heard about the row with the barman the previous night and called a team meeting, including Roy Keane. At the meeting he banned Keane from the first team party. Ferguson threatened to fine any player caught drinking with Keane two weeks wages. Keane was “Outraged. I looked around the dressing room for support. None was forthcoming. F***ing w***ers, I thought, before going to the manager’s office to protest. The argument became very heated. I got no joy.”[Page176-177]. Despite his manager’s wishes Keane went on to totally disregard the “…the perfect manager for me…Personally, I owed him everything.”[Page 215] and went out on a one-man Christmas party anyway.

Steepest Learning Curve in History?

Following yet another drunken brawl with some Manchester United fans from Dublin in 1997 Keane laments; “…I was on the steepest learning curve in history. When would I finally learn to avoid situations I clearly couldn’t handle.”[Page 177]. According to his own autobiography this steep learning curve began with a melee in his native Cork in 1991 and lasted until his arrest just before the FA Cup Final in 1999. By his own admission one in ten of his nights out ended up in “aggravation” [Page 201]. Presumably that adds up to a lot of difficult situations over an eight year period. An eight year learning curve is hardly steep.

Big Signings and Complacency

In an implicit criticism of Alex Ferguson, Keane states that United should have bought big in the transfer market after the victory in the 1999 Champions League final. He says that this would have “…freshened things up, attacked complacency…”[Page 231]. Perversely in his video; As I See It, Keane complains that, after United had invested heavily in bringing in Ruud van Nistelrooy, Laurent Blanc and Juan Sebastian Veron, the existing players became complacent and sat back expecting the new players to deliver for the team.

More Roy Keane Contradictions

NOTE: Unless stated otherwise all quotations are from:
Keane: The Autobiography; Roy Keane with Eamon Dunphy (2002); Michael Joseph Ltd

Back to Saipan Affair Table of Contents – Irish Football

© 2009-2018 Soccer-Ireland.com. All rights reserved
All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without prior written permission. No permission will be withheld to any reasonable requests.
Please contact Soccer-Ireland.com

Saipan Table of Contents Roy Keane & Eamon Dunphy
Saipan Introduction Roy Keane & Cork
Methodology Keane’s Aversion to Being Away From Home
Saipan Conclusions Roy Keane’s Relationship with Ireland
Roy Keane – Mick McCarthy Relationship Roy Keane – Zenith Data Systems Cup
Roy Keane Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Jack Charlton Relationship
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 1 Roy Keane’s Flawed Character
Mick McCarthy Account of Saipan Incident 2 Roy Keane’s Good Character
Niall Quinn Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Footballer
Jason McAteer Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Team Captain
Matt Holland Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Family Man
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Backdrop Roy Keane & Faking Injury
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Issues Roy Keane – Bad Boy
Keane / McCarthy Boston Row 1992 Roy Keane – Career Lows
Keane Misses Iran Playoff Game Roy Keane – Red Cards
Keane Misses Niall Quinn Testimonial Roy Keane – Cruciate Injury
Countdown to Saipan Incident Roy Keane & Alf-Inge Haaland
Roy Keane Saipan Tirade at Mick McCarthy Roy Keane & Gareth Southgate Red Card
Roy Keane / Tom Humphries Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Alan Shearer Red Card
Keane / Humphries Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane / Alex Ferguson Relationship 1
Roy Keane / Irish Times Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Sir Alex Ferguson 2
Roy Keane / Paul Kimmage Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Charity
Keane / Kimmage Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane & Autobiography Contradictions
Roy Keane / Sunday Independent Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Contradictions
Roy Keane / Tommie Gorman Interview 1 Roy Keane – Integrity
Roy Keane / Tommy Gorman Interview 2 Roy Keane – International Matches
Roy Keane / RTE Interview 3 Roy Keane – Football Record
FAI Involvement in Saipan Affair Roy Keane & Sandwiches
Saipan Reaction of Irish Players Roy Keane – Walker
Mick McCarthy – ‘crap player, crap manager’ Saipan – Pacific Island
Roy Keane / Mick McCarthy Playing Record I Keano – The Musical
Colin Healy – Forgotten Man of Saipan Roy Keane – Football Manager
Saipan Ten Years Later Roy Keane’s Dog Triggs
Roy Keane’s Autobiography Saipan Bibiliography


Roy Keane – View Seven Years After Saipan
Football Quotes on Saipan


Triggs – The Autobiography of Roy Keane’s Dog
Ireland at 2002 World Cup Finals – Irish 2002 World Cup Squad – Irish Group Matches
Ireland V Cameroon – Ireland V Germany – Ireland V Saudi Arabia – Ireland V Spain