This side of Roy Keane often goes undiscussed.
As a player, Roy Keane had a reputation as one of the most intimidating captains in Premier League history and as a manager, he displayed similar levels of aggression when required.
But Keane does have a gentler side, with many reports over the years of the Irishman going out of his way to look after injured or unwell players.
Keane would also make a point of looking out for the non-playing staff of the clubs he managed and he endeared himself to employees at Sunderland during his two years in charge of the Black Cats.
Former Sunderland forward Chris Brown, who was on the books at the Stadium of Light when Keane took over, has revealed that a conversation with the club’s tea lady made it very clear that the Corkman was the most thoughtful manager of Sunderland in her memory.
“I went back to Sunderland, probably two years ago,” Brown said on the Under The Cosh podcast, as transcribed by the Sunderland Echo. “And I was speaking to the woman, there’s always a woman in the players’ lounge that does the drinks, does the food and all that.
“And I just said, ‘who has been your favourite manager?’ She said, ‘without a shadow of a doubt Roy Keane.’
“Every home game, he used to come up, everyone had gone, and he used to come up and ask how she was and he’d give her a bit of pocket money to go away with.
“He didn’t have to do that, did he? Not many managers would go out of their way and just go and have a bit of chat with the tea lady in the players’ lounge and every week he would give her some money.”