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The Roy Keane I know is no headbutter

Were you surprised the legendary Man Utd hardman walked away from the fan who attacked him? You shouldn’t be, writes Jim White, the new Roy Keane is a very different man from the old – and he tells a cracking anecdote

Tuesday 05 September 2023 16:08 BST
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<p>A magnificent storyteller, with a comedian’s timing and a raconteur’s ease, I’ve witnessed Roy Keane lose his rag at the very thought of a soft drink</p>

A magnificent storyteller, with a comedian’s timing and a raconteur’s ease, I’ve witnessed Roy Keane lose his rag at the very thought of a soft drink

When footage emerged of an altercation after Arsenal’s victory over Manchester United on Sunday involving Roy Keane, you had an idea what it might entail before even casting an eye over it.

After all, in his heyday this was the most uncompromising footballer of his and many other a generation, the man who called out Patrick Vieira – someone at least six inches taller than him – in the players’ tunnel before a game; the man who stormed out of the World Cup to take his dog for a walk; the man who ended the career of Erling Haaland’s dad with a revenge attack of Shakespearean proportions.

But then what we saw wasn’t quite like that. The footage was of the aftermath of an assault on Keane in which a fan attempted to headbutt him. And rather than the man lying comatose on the deck as we might have expected, what we see is Keane’s Sky colleague Micah Richards grabbing the miscreant by the collar. In the background Keane taps Richards on the shoulder and suggests they both walk away. Nothing to see here, best leave it all be, “not worth it” is his body language.

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