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Premier League Legends: Roy Keane

Roy Keane
18 Nov 2000: Roy Keane of Manchester United in action during the FA Carling Premier League match against Manchester City played at Maine Road in Manchester, England. United won the game 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

Time to talk about another Premier League great, Manchester Untied’s legendary midfielder – Roy Keane.

Now working as a pundit for Sky Sports, Roy Keane began his football career at Irish side Cobh Ramblers back in 1989.

It didn’t take too long for Nottingham Forest’s scout Noel McCabe to notice his talent and strongly recommend him to the legendary Forest boss – Brian Clough.

McCabe then brought Keane to the City Ground for a trial, an opportunity Roy took, earning himself a move to England.

The Irishman, in the beginning, had a hard time adapting to life in Nottingham and he would often ask the club for a few days’ home leave in order to return to his hometown.

However, when things finally settled down, Keano established himself as a regular in Brian Clough’s starting XI and eventually became one of the greatest midfielders ever seen in top-flight English football.

Over his three-year spell at Nottingham Forest, Roy reached the FA Cup Final in 1991 (lost 2-1 to Tottenham) and the League Cup Final one year later, but suffered another defeat, 1-0 to Manchester United.

The 1992-93 campaign was a huge disappointment for Forest, as they finished at the bottom, suffering relegation to the Second Division.

Keane, who was the club’s player of the season back then, decided it is time leave with few English giants being interested in his services.

He agreed a contract with Blackburn Rovers’ boss Kenny Dalglish, but the move was delayed, as they did not have the correct paperwork needed to complete the transfer.

Sir Alex Ferguson learned about this in the meantime and took his chance to persuade the young Irishman to sign for Manchester United instead. So, in the end, Roy Keane moved to Old Trafford for a British record transfer fee of £3.75 million.

Captain Fantastic

Keano was still only 22 years old when he signed for the best club in England at the time, meaning he had to earn his place in the starting line up.

He won three Premier League titles and two FA Cup in his first four years at Old Trafford, before being named Manchester Untied’s captain following Eric Cantona’s retirement in 1997.

With Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce as his predecessors, Roy Keane had some really big shoes to fill in. And not only that he did so, the Irishman even managed to set new standards at Old Trafford.

When you hear the name Roy Keane what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Let me guess – leadership.

Know as “Captain Fantastic” at Old Trafford, Keano is one of the greatest leaders ever seen in football. Strong work ethic, vocal in the dressing room, demanding on and off the pitch and always seeking the best from his teammates – that was Roy Keane at Manchester United.

And he knew how to play ball also. The Irishman was a complete midfielder, excellent in defense with great technique and passing range.

Keano captained the Red Devils to a historic treble in 1998-99, as they became the first (and still the only) English side with such an achievement.

In his remaining six years at Old Trafford, he lifted the Premier League three more times, winning a total of seven English Championships.

Roy left United in 2005, after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson. He spent the remainder of the 2005-06 season at Celtic, before officially retiring from football at the age of 35.