“We had nothing in common. His beliefs and my beliefs are a mile apart,” the former Rangers goalkeeper said.
One could forgive even the most diehard Manchester United fan for forgetting about Andy Goram’s brief spell at the club. Back in March 2001, the former Rangers goalkeeper signed for United on a short-term loan deal from Motherwell after first-team goalkeepers Fabien Barthez and Raimond van der Gouw suffered injuries.
The 36-year-old went on to make two appearances for Alex Ferguson’s team as they won the league title for the third season in succession. At the end of the campaign, Goram departed for Hamilton Academical, but not before crossing paths with Roy Keane.
On his first day at Old Trafford, the former Scotland goalkeeper was introduced to his new teammates by Steve McClaren, who was United assistant manager at the time. However, the club’s captain had no interest in getting to know Goram.
Speaking on the Anything Goes podcast with James English earlier this year, Goram suggested that he and Keane, a Celtic fan, did not speak because of the goalkeeper’s strong affiliations with Rangers. Goram spent seven-years with Rangers between 1991 and 1998, where he won five Scottish titles, three Scottish Cups and was named player of the year in 1993. He was voted the club’s greatest-ever goalkeeper.
“We just never spoke,” Goram said about Keane. “We had nothing in common. His beliefs and my beliefs are a mile apart.
“I met all the players in the dressing room, Steve McClaren took me around. I knew most of them, the Nevilles and all that… I played cricket with their da. I knew most of them.
“And it came to Roy Keane and you know, you shake hands. He just looked at me and I went, ‘there’s no point is there?’ And he went, ‘no’. And we never spoke for three months.”
Andy telling the story when he signed for @ManUtd and him and Roy Keane never spoke the full time he was at Man U
The full interview with Andy Goram will be going live this Sunday at 5pm
— James English (@jamesenglish0) January 11, 2019
In his autobiography, Goram goes into further detail the exchanged with Keane, saying that the former United captain “hated the sight” of him at Old Trafford.
“Shark’s eyes. Dead, devoid of emotion, glaring at me. No handshake. Welcome to Manchester United. Roy Keane-style,” he writes.
“The man who saw himself as the heartbeat of the Reds was giving me a message. He just looked right through me as the embarrassed Steve McClaren, the United No 2, tried to introduce the new on-loan keeper to his volcanic captain.”
“From that second I knew there was no point in me making an effort with Keane. Roy had things he stood by, things that framed his life, beliefs he clung to with a burning intensity. Well, I had mine. What he did to me on that first morning at work at the most famous football club in the world didn’t faze me.”
“He was a Celtic man, I was a Rangers man. He didn’t like me. End of story. Fair enough. After all, I’d done enough to make some Celtic fans dislike me in seven years at Ibrox.”
“There was to be no handshake. Ever. The truth is we didn’t exchange a civil word in the three months I was at Old Trafford.”
Keane would go on to play for Celtic after leaving Man United in November 2005. The former Ireland captain turned down several clubs, including Real Madrid, to sign for the Scottish club.
Keane writes in his second autobiography that, when a United player, he was once called a ‘Fenian bastard” as he made his way into Ibrox for a training session ahead of a match against Rangers in the Champions League.
“We played Rangers, and it was brilliant,” he says about the match in October 2003, which United won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Phil Neville.
“It was the first time I’d played at Ibrox. I’d been there before as a fan – a Celtic fan. We trained on the pitch at Ibrox the night before the game. It’s usually a low-key event; you do a light bit of work. But as we got off the bus for training, I got a nice little welcome – ‘You Fenian bastard.’ I’d have expected it on the night of the game, but not the night before. I don’t think it was the doorman who said it, but someone in that general area.
“We won, 1–0. Phil Neville scored. That’s what was memorable about the game, not that I was called a Fenian bastard but that Phil scored. He didn’t score many. We hammered Rangers at Old Trafford. Diego Forlán had a great game that night.”
*** Originally published August 19.