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Andy Cole recalls hilarious Roy Keane hospital visit during his illness

cole keane

This article was first published in April 2022.

Andy Cole recalls Roy Keane hospital visit.

In an extract from his recent autobiography, Andy Cole has recalled how Roy Keane had him ‘fearing for his stitches’ when the Corkman came to visit him in hospital during his illness.

As Manchester United teammates, Cole and Keane went through a lot together as key members of Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering squad of the late-1990s and early-2000s.

Andy Cole undergoes kidney transplant.

The pair were part of the 1998/99 team that won an unprecedented treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup, and that was just the tip of the iceberg during a period when trophies rolled into the Old Trafford dressing room on a regular basis.

Having entered into battle together on countless occasions, it’s no surprise then that Keane was by Cole’s side during his biggest battle of all, as he recovered from a kidney transplant in 2017.

After suffering kidney failure, the former Premier League Golden Boot winner received the amazing gift from his nephew Alexander but Keane’s famed wit nearly slowed down the recovery process, as Cole explains in his book Fast Forward.

Roy Keane is a ‘class act’.

‘It was a discomfort that my old captain clearly had no time for when he came to visit,’ the former striker writes of the man who he still refers to as ‘Skip’.

‘Rather than bringing grapes or magazines, Skip brought his sense of humour. And despite being told by the nurses not to make me laugh, he sat by my bed, telling me old jokes, reminiscing about funny old times, making me laugh so much I feared for my stitches.

‘When Skip left, belly aches aside, I was on a high. For my old captain to take the time to see me meant so much. People have their views about Roy but so much of public opinion is based purely on what people see on the surface.

‘Skip is a class act and his being there at my bedside reminded me of that.’

It’s not unknown for Keane to make low-profile hospital visits so when one of his former colleagues was in need of cheering up, the Corkman was bound to step in.


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Andy Cole’s recovery.

As Cole reveals in the powerful final few chapters of his book, he is now getting used to his new life with a new kidney. The 50-year-old credits a number of family members and friends with helping keep his spirits up and that includes Keane, in his own unique way.

Cole is continuing to work for Man United as an ambassador and was most recently in Miami for an event around the club’s recent Premier League victory over Norwich City.

Extract taken from Fast Forward by Andy Cole, written with Leo Moynihan. First published in 2020.

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