March 5, 2024

Roy Keane – The Family Man

Roy Keane testimonial Manchester United v Celtic

There are many aspects of Keane’s life that are somewhat inscrutable however there is no mystery about how he feels about his family. Roy Keane’s autobiography is littered with references to his family and how comfortable he feels when he is with family members. He described his parents, Maurice (Mossie) and Marie Keane, as “…warm and loving.”[Page 1].

He has three brothers, Denis, Johnson, and Pat, and one sister Hilary. He seems to be particularly close to his brothers as there are numerous positive references to them right throughout his book. At times of strife he expressed a longing to be with his family at home.

Keane Maintains a Family Tradition

When it came to picking a schoolboy football club to play for, Roy Keane chose to play for Rockmount AFC. To play for Rockmount involved “…a seven mile journey there and back.”[Page 4]. It would have been far more convenient to play for his local soccer club Mayfield. On joining Rockmount Keane said, “I was incredibly proud that I had upheld the Keane family traditional the club where my brothers and uncles had played.”[Page 5]. It wasn’t particularly easy for Keane to turn his back on his local Mayfield United club. The long distance to Rockmount was only one problem. Being accused of being a traitor to Mayfield was another and sometimes it went beyond accusations and things became physical. Roy Keane wouldn’t be deterred and stuck by what be believed. Echoes from the future perhaps.

Even in England Keane Kept His Family Close

When he first joined Nottingham Forest in 1990 his manager, Brian Clough, very often granted Keane’s many requests to go home to his family in Cork in between league matches. On a regular basis throughout his career Keane also paid for his family to come over to Nottingham and Manchester for matches. In his book Keane repeatedly refers to the significant efforts that he had to go to to secure tickets for his family and friends for home matches. He also suggests that this impinged to some extent on his preparation for matches and “…over time this would actually drive me crazy.”[Page 105]. A very tangible demonstration of his commitment to his family is that he paid €30,000 for members of his family to travel out for the 2002 World Cup.

Keane and His New Family

While still at Nottingham Forest Keane met a young woman called Theresa Doyle whose parents were from Bray and Lusk, and who was destined to become his wife. To date they have four children. The photographs in his autobiography and the shots of Keane with his children in his autobiographical video, As I See It, are entirely consistent with his public image as a dedicated family man. Keane’s children are totally relaxed and comfortable in his presence. There is a real tenderness evident in his face when he is with his children. No menacing brooding presence in evidence.

In the passage in his book dealing with his arrest just before the 1999 FA Cup Final he said, upon waking up in the police cell, “My first thought was for Theresa and the kids…The press would be outside the house when Shannon was going to school.”[Page 204]. Following the celebrations when Manchester United won the Champions League Final in 1999, the Holy Grail for Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane, the footballer just, “…longed to go home to Theresa and the kids.”[Page 213]

In his Saipan interview with Roy Keane in May 2002, Paul Kimmage asked Keane about his tattoos.”I’ve got my kids on my right arm: Shannon, Caragh, Aidan and Leah… The wife did ask me why didn’t I get hers (name put on) and I said ‘they’ll always be my kids but you won’t necessarily always be my wife,’ which she wasn’t too pleased about. (laughs)” Somewhat callous perhaps but it is Keane being pragmatic in his own way. However, despite some mischief-making by malevolent types after the Saipan incident, there has never been any suggestion other than Keane is a dedicated family man committed to his wife and children.

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

Roy Keane Republic of Ireland Relationship

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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