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Niall Quinn recalls story of referee being ‘scared stiff’ of Roy Keane during the Manchester derby

Roy Keane

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“How dare you give a decision like that!”

Republic of Ireland legend Niall Quinn has recalled how former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane once terrified a referee during a Manchester derby in the 1990s.

Quinn, then playing for Manchester City, revealed that the referee officiating the derby was left “scared stiff” after a stinging tirade from Keane during the game.

Quinn recalls Keane’s referee clash.

Quinn spoke with Virgin Media as part of the two-part ‘Niall Quinn Bootroom to Boardroom’ documentary and recalled Keane’s intimidating behaviour during the derby.

“I can remember playing one game for Man City, where he was literally running every part of the United team, barking orders at everybody,” the 54-year-old revealed.

“The moment I thought, ‘This fellow, he really has got it’, was not some outrageous skill, not a great tackle, whatever, not a great pass.’

Manchester United

“A ball came across from a free-kick, a corner kick actually it was. We had a full back called Michel Vonk, and he went up with (Eric) Cantona for a header, it was sent to far to the back post.

“He went up with Cantona for the header and Cantona kind of half fouled him. And the referee blew his whistle. I was standing there, and he roared at the referee, ‘That’s a terrible decision, how dare you give a decision like that!’

“And the referee says to him, ‘I haven’t, Roy, I haven’t, it’s a penalty for you’.

“He just went, ‘Yeah, bloody right it is’. And he walked off and they got a penalty and they scored.

“I looked at it and I went, ‘Oh my god, that referee is scared stiff of Roy Keane’.”

Roy Keane

Quinn: Keane had an incredible presence.

Quinn also revealed how he was left amazed by Keane’s determination despite his young age.

“His energy was the first thing that struck me, up and down the pitch,” the former Arsenal striker added.

“How he could be so involved in a game, every bit of it and at a young age, that referees were afraid of their lives of him. He had a presence in other words, right from the get-go.

Roy Keane

“He became very demanding of those around him, at a very young age. It was just in him.

“Roy is driven in doing his thing and you could see there was a wall around him already, and he was in there hell-bent and determined in getting to the top.

“That’s just presence – and he had the most incredible presence. Didn’t suffer fools as you know.”

Niall Quinn: From Bootroom to Boardroom is on Virgin Media Two this Wednesday at 10.15 pm.

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