“He thought he was the man. Unfortunately for him, Roy Keane was walking into the car park.”
Roy Keane’s time at Manchester United is now legendary. The Irish midfielder was the dominant player of his generation and Man United’s leader on the field during the club’s most successful era.
Keane’s position at Man United
This isn’t a surprise, as Keane was the driving force behind Alex Ferguson’s teams. As his former teammate Gary Neville said, the Irishman had “a standard of performance which demanded the very best from his team.”
“You would look at him busting a gut and feel that you’d be betraying him if you didn’t give everything yourself.”
This extended to all aspects of life at Old Trafford. Keane was a leader and a role model for his Man United teammates.
He expected the best from his colleagues on and off the pitch, as Kieran Richardson discovered.
Keane’s run-in with Kieran Richardson
Febian Brandy, a former Man United youth team player, has a story that highlights how much power Keane had at Man United. Richardson, then 18, thought he had made it back in 2002 until he crossed paths with Keane, Man United’s captain.
“I was about 13 when Kieran Richardson had just made the first-team squad,” Brandy said.
“He came into training one day with the car roof down and his music blaring out. He thought he was the man.
“Unfortunately for him, Roy Keane was walking into the car park.
“He pointed at him and said, ‘Turn your music off and go home. Don’t come back here today’.”
Keane’s comments on Richardson.
Richardson went on to play over 80 times for Man United and scored 11 goals. After leaving the club, he signed for Keane at Sunderland in 2007. Later, Richardson had spells with Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff City. He retired in 2016.
Richardson was one of the players that Keane criticised in the infamous 2005 MUTV ‘Play the Pundit’ segment which never aired. The video resulted in Keane’s departure from Old Trafford.
He said his comments on Richardson, Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith, Rio Ferdinand and John O’Shea were taken out of context.
“Apparently, I described Kieran Richardson as a lazy defender,” Keane wrote in his second autobiography.
“But Kieran Richardson isn’t a defender. Some players, out of position, defend lazily; they don’t get back quickly enough.”
The pair work together at Sunderland.
Richardson played under Keane for 18 months at Sunderland.
“He was a good signing, but it was tricky. I had to meet his dad a few times.
“Kieran was making a few demands; he wanted a certain jersey number, he wanted to take the penalties.
“His ego had to be stroked a bit. He did well for us and scored the winner against Newcastle the following season; so he’ll always be remembered for that.”
However, despite Richardson’s demands when signing for Sunderland, he was probably wise enough not to show up to training with music blaring from his car again.