With I, Keano still packing out Cork Opera House night after night with audiences who never tire of hearing about his World Cup row in Saipan with Mick McCarthy, the venue is soon to stage Roy, a Footballer’s Tale.
Played by The Wind That Shakes the Barley actor Myles Horgan, the midfield general from Mayfield is cast back to Christmas, 2005, after he left Manchester United but before he joined Glasgow Celtic.
Venue bosses say the humorous drama, written by Waterford playwright Alec McAllister, shows the sportsman’s engaging humanity and his own uncertainty during life outside Alex Ferguson’s team.
Opera House bosses say audiences will see how Keano’s wry detachment and brutal self-awareness got him through the crucial period in his career while the ghosts of Saipan still surround him.
“This play imagines the world as viewed through the eyes of the controversial sports figure,” said venue spokeswoman Melanie O’Brien.
“Actor Myles Horgan, who is from Cork, has made the role his own, infusing it with the dynamic energy of this enigmatic sportsman, but also instilling a self-deprecating humour which belies the stereotypes.”
After joining Celtic, Keane went on to become manager of Sunderland and is now in the running for promotion to the Premiership — along with Mick McCarthy’s Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The pre-Celtic drama is being staged at the Half Moon Theatre in Cork on May 8. It is performed by City Theatre Dublin and is directed by Waterford author Jim Nolan.