Chris Eagles found out in no uncertain terms that Roy Keane was not to be messed with.
Rio Ferdinand has recalled a time when Roy Keane let his fist fly at Manchester United youth player Chris Eagles, who hadn’t heeded the Irishman’s warning to calm down with his challenges.
Keane was apparently easing his way back to fitness and was training with the United reserves. With the club captain down working with the younger players, one in particular was eager to make a name for himself.
Eagles, who had come through the Red Devils’ academy, continued to commit niggly fouls on Keane, who was happy to let the young Englishman off with a warning the first time but patience was never Keane’s strong point.
Speaking on the latest episode of Vibe with Five, Ferdinand explained: “Roy must have been coming back from injury and he was in training with the reserves, and a few of the youngsters like Eagles and Lee Martin and a few of them boys. And they were like rats. Ratting around people, getting close and trying to tackle.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 1, 2021
“He went late on Roy, once or twice, and Roy said, ‘Listen – slow down’.
“The ball came in again and Eagles, trying to impress and trying to leave his mark, left a little bit on Roy again, pulled his jersey or something like that.
“Roy just turned around and went BANG! Clean to the jaw. Quick, short, sharp jab.
“And Chris was just stood there. I was like, ‘Roy, what’s wrong with you? What are you doing?’ I remember coming inside and saying to him, ‘Roy, what you doing that for? He’s a young kid, man’.
“Roy goes, ‘I warned him’.”
Eagles ended up making 17 appearances for United but he never shared the pitch with Keane…