Roy Keane recalls Eamon Dunphy fallout

Roy Keane has revealed that the ghostwriter of his first autobiography, Eamon Dunphy, "didn’t help" in a hearing which resulted in the Corkman receiving a five-match ban for his tackle on Alfe-Inge Haaland.

The Football Association imposed the suspension, along with a £150,000 fine, after the book made it appear that his red-card tackle on Haaland in 2011 was premeditated.

Keane explains the hearing in his new book, The Second Half, due to be released on Thursday: “Jim Sturman [the judge] had an easy day. I think he enjoyed it, as a Tottenham fan.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m fucked here’. I sat down.

“It was Eamon Dunphy’s turn to be a witness. He’d already said he’d used his own words to describe the tackle. Before we went in, I’d been going to say to him ‘Eamon, if they ask you if you think I intentionally went to injure Haaland, say no’.

“But I decided not to. I wouldn’t embarrass him by saying something as simple as that.

“Sturman asked him, ‘Mister Dunphy, do you think Mister Keane intentionally went to injure a fellow professional, Mister Haaland?’

“And Eamon’s three words back to Sturman were, ‘Without a doubt.’ That was my case, my defence, out the window.

“Eamon had written my book, he was my witness. I think Eamon felt he was on trial and that it was almost a criminal court. He wanted to distance himself from it and I could see his point of view. He’s delivered the book; he’d done his job and I’d approved it.

“But I think he might have thought that his account in the book was on trial; he just wanted to get it over and get out of there. He was rushing for his flight back to Dublin. I looked at him and thought, ‘I’m definitely fucked now’.

“He didn’t go, ‘I think so’, or ‘Maybe’, even ‘Probably’, or ‘I can’t honestly give an answer to that.’

“I’m not blaming Eamon — but he didn’t help. I could tell from Jim Sturman’s expression, he was thinking ‘Nice One’.”

Meanwhile, Keane maintains the FAI were wrong to sack Brian Kerr in 2005 — an opinion that may cause tension with his current employers.

Kerr saw his tenure ended just a month after Keane retired from international football for a second time. Ireland had failed to reach a play-off for the 2006 World Cup and the FAI board, led by current chief executive John Delaney, ousted Kerr, appointing Steve Staunton five months later.

Keane said: “I liked working under Brian. He should have been given another crack at qualifying for the [2008] Euros. You need a few breaks and Brian didn’t get any. We should have beaten France in Paris that night in the qualifiers.”

On his 2004 return to the Ireland squad following a period in the wilderness after Saipan, the Corkman said: “I did it because I didn’t want to let the family down.’ As you get older you feel, ‘don’t forget what it’s all about, don’t forget where you come from.’”

Reversing his international retirement went down like a lead balloon with Alex Ferguson. “The manager wouldn’t talk to met, but he — and they — couldn’t stop me.”

Keane also recalled his tunnel spat with nemesis Patrick Vieira at Highbury in 2005, surprisingly conceding that had he and the then Arsenal skipper come to fisticuffs, he would have come off second best.

“If it had come to a fight, Patrick could probably have killed me,” Keane said.

Recalling the incident, Keane said he became enraged when Gary Neville returned to the United dressing room after warming up and claiming that Vieira had been shouting at him.

“As I walked to the front, I heard something going on at the top of the tunnel,” he writes. “All I could see was a few fingers, pointing at Gary. I lost it. I’d thought they might have booted him out on the pitch. But in the tunnel? I just thought ‘The fucker’. They were trying to bully him. They were a big team and, in the tunnel, they were even bigger. So I said to myself ‘Alright, let’s go’.”

Keane clashed with many of his team-mates during a 12-and-a-half year spell at Old Trafford in which he played for the club 480 times.

The biggest row appears to have come while United were on their pre-season tour of Asia in 1998.

Schmeichel, who played alongside Keane for six years, confronted the midfielder in the team hotel in Hong Kong after the pair had been on a night out. Keane was apparently so drunk, he had to rely on team-mate Nicky Butt to recount to him exactly what happened the morning after.

“Butty had refereed the fight,” Keane writes. “(He said) Peter had grabbed me, and I’d head-butted him — we’d been fighting for ages.”

Keane says he did not like the Dane as he felt he was regularly trying to draw attention to himself with his actions in certain matches.

The Irishman claims United legend Bobby Charlton, who would have been 61 at the time, was woken up by the fight. Keane claims Ferguson branded the pair “a disgrace to the club” after hearing about the scrap, which apparently happened on the 27th floor of the hotel.

In the book, it is claimed Schmeichel tried to cover up the fight by claiming at a press conference that the black eye Keane gave him was inflicted during a training session.

Keane also touches on Rio Ferdinand’s missed drugs test, arguing the defender’s absence — he was banned for eight months — proved costly.

“He (Rio) suffered for it and so did the team. If it had been me, and the doctor had said I had to do a drugs test, I’d have gone and done it. It wasn’t something I’d have forgotten,” Keane writes.

“I don’t think I was annoyed at the time, and I don’t think the other players were either. But, ultimately, the team suffered. I didn’t look at Rio and think that he’d been up to no good, or that there was a hidden reason for what had occurred. I think he genuinely forgot. We paid the price. He was a very good player and we missed him.”


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