“Welcome to your worst nightmare.”
Gascoigne revealed that when Keane’s Nottingham Forest clashed against his Spurs side, he made sure to constantly speak to the Irishman in a bid to distract him.
The tactic proved to be so successful that ‘Gazza’ claimed the Corkman was grateful to have the game “over with” when the full-time whistle blew.
Keane moved to Nottingham Forest from Cobh Ramblers in the summer of 1990. Then Forest manager Brian Clough sanctioned the £47,000 deal after being impressed with the midfielder’s ability.
While the Manchester United legend has forged a reputation for being stoic and ruthless both on and off the field, this wasn’t always the case.
In fact, following his transfer to Forest, Keane suffered from bouts of homesickness and would often request the club to permit him to visit his family in Ireland.
As such, his performances on the pitch during those early years didn’t always mirror the commanding aura he developed during his time at Man United.
Although, by the time of his final season with Forest, Keane had established himself as one of the best midfielders in England, with a host of clubs interested in signing him.
Gazza on Keane.
Gascoigne appeared on the Anything Goes With James English YouTube channel and explained how he attempted to goad Keane when Spurs clashed against Forest in the 90s.
“I remember Roy Keane once, I just used to talk to him all the time,” the former Rangers man revealed.
“I remember going down the tunnel and I said: ‘Roy, you reckon you’re the new kid on the block? Welcome to your worst nightmare.’
“We won one-nil but he said afterwards in the papers: ‘Thank God that game is over with, I’ve never been talked to so much in my life.’
“I used to say: ‘I’m sleeping with your wife.’”
In an interview with Jamie Redknapp, Gazza told a similar story, saying:
“Years ago, when I played against Roy Keane, they were saying he was the new kid on the block. In the tunnel, I went to Keane, ‘Welcome to your worst nightmare’.
“I talked to him for 90 minutes. I was saying, ‘I’m going out with ya wife’. He said, ‘I’m not married’. I said, ‘Aye, she’s there in the stands’. He’d look up and I’d just go off with the ball.
😎 5 stunning #OTD solo goals! Best here? 🔥
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 9, 2021
“He went to the newspapers afterwards, ‘Thank God that game’s over, I’ve never been talked to so much in my life’. I’d talk and talk and talk. ‘How are you doing? Where you from? What you doing tonight? What you doing tomorrow?’
“One guy came face to face for an argument, so I grabbed him and gave him the biggest kiss. That ruined the rest of his game. The fans were laughing at him.”
Keane career advice.
All of Keane’s valuable experiences while playing for Forest helped him develop his skills as a young footballer in the English game.
Back in 2019, the former Celtic man revealed how Clough offered him some effective advice which he followed for the rest of his career.
"Didn't drink too much – 6 or 7 pints." 🍻
Roy Keane reveals how he found out he was making his debut for Nottingham Forest at Anfield…🤣 pic.twitter.com/62WzYyq9qO
— Sky Sports Retro (@SkySportsRetro) September 30, 2019
“He gave me a bit of advice before the (Liverpool) game which I’ve basically made a career out of,” the former Sunderland manager said.
“He said: ‘I’ve seen your pre-season, you can control the ball, you can pass it and you can move’.
“I said I can do those three things and he just told me to do that tonight. And that was my career in a nutshell: control, pass it and move.
“And people always nod their head when I say that, because as a professional footballer you should be able to do those three things. But believe it or not, a lot of players can’t.”
Originally published on February 4, 2021.