Legendary commentator Clive Tyldesley was afraid of Roy Keane before respect was earned

You can add commentators to the list of people involved in football who were afraid of Roy Keane.

We already knew that Roy Keane struck fear in the hearts of opposition players and teammates but, apparently, his reputation as a hothead stretched further than that.

Legendary commentator Clive Tyldesley admits that Keane was one of the players he feared the most when it came to arranging interviews.

Tyldesley, who has over 45 years of broadcast experience, has revealed his early impressions of Keane and explained how he managed to earn the respect of the famously fiery Irishman.

“He was one of the players that I most feared interviewing after a game. He was difficult and awkward and pretty dismissive,” Tyldesley told Joanne O’Riordan for The Irish Times.

“I think once he saw the amount of preparation that I make for a live broadcast, he identified with his own preparation for a football match. Roy would tell you, that in the days leading up to an Arsenal game, the Manchester United-Arsenal game, he would be playing that game from Wednesday onwards.

“Everybody around him, including his wife who is absolutely lovely, would have to live with that Roy Keane, and his teammates also. He is continually self-analysing, and I like that about anybody.”

As many of his ex-teammates and current punditry colleagues have made clear in recent years, there is more to Keane than his public perception as a contrary curmudgeon.

And Tyldesley echoed those suggestions, insisting that Keane is much more open-minded than many might believe.

Tyldesley continued: “He has a certainty about some opinions, but they can be shaken. He’ll listen. He’ll listen as much as he talks.

“There are more layers to Roy Keane than we ever saw as a player. Certainly, more than I ever saw as a player.”

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