Thu 01 April 2021 | 17:30

Roy Keane Biography

The fact that Pele chooses Roy Keane in his list of 100 greatest living footballers is proof that he was definitely one of the best midfielders of his time. In this article, we take a look at his biography.

Roy Keane, born on10 August 1971 in Cork, Munster, is an Irish former footballer and current coach. As a footballer, he is best known for playing for English club Manchester United and for the Irish national team.

Keane was considered one of the best central midfielders at the start of the 21st century. During his 17-year football career, he played for Cobh Ramblers in the Irish league, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United (both clubs in the English league). Roy's last club was Scottish side Celtic.

Keane was distinguished by his aggressive manner of playing, stubbornness and the ability to conduct tough battles. His playmaking and physical attributes helped him become Manchester United's captain in 1997 (following Eric Cantona's departure). Keane became one of the legends of the club during his 12 years tenure at United, enjoying unprecedented successes including 7 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League.

Keane was called up to the Irish national team for most of his football career, playing for them for 14 years (1991-2005), mostly as a captain. He played in every game of the 1994 World Cup but was left out of the 2002 World Cup due to a conflict with national coach Mick McCarthy.

In his first season as Sunderland head coach, Keane took over the 23rd ranked club and led them to first place, winning the Championship and securing the club's promotion to the Premier League. Sunderland's success in 2006-2008 was due to Keane's arrival. On 4 December 2008, Sunderland management terminated Keane's contract by mutual consent.

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All You Need to Know About Roy Keane Biography

He was the head coach at Ipswich Town from April 2009 to January 2011. From 2013 to 2018, he was Martin O'Neill's assistant in the Irish national team and from January 2019 he was at Nottingham Forest FC. He has also worked as a visiting analyst on television.

Roy Keane Information

Now that we know Roy Keane much better, in this section of his biography we will share general info about him and share some information such as

Roy Keane nationality

. Stay tuned!

Roy Keane Bio

  • Full Name: Roy Maurice Keane

  • Nickname: Keano

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Roy Keane Physical Stats

  • Weight: 81 Kg

  • Height: 1.78 m

  • Eye Color: Dark Brown

  • Hair Color: Black

Roy Keane Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 16

  • Professional Debut: 1989

Roy Keane Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 10 August 1971

  • Birth Place: Cork, Ireland

  • Zodiac Sign: Leo

  • Nationality: Irish

In this section of Roy Keane biography, we want to take a look at his early days and share some information about

Roy Keane childhood

with you.

Roy Keane Early Life

Keane was born into a working-class family in Mayfield, a suburb of Cork. Due to the difficult economic situation, his father, Maurice, took every job he could find. He worked in the local knitting factory and in the Guinness beer factory. The Keane family were always involved in sport, particularly football, and many of the family and relatives played for local Cork youth teams (including the famous Rockmounts).

He took up boxing at the age of nine and had some success in it, winning four out of four fights in the amateur championship. At the same time he played for the youth team of Rockmount and he showed himself as a promising player (in his first season for Rockmount he was player of the year).

Growing up, Keane was a


and Tottenham Hotspur fan, and his favourite player was Liam Brady (former


player). As time went on, however, his hero was Brian Robson of Manchester United because of his box-to-box style of play. These were qualities which Keane himself possessed. What the young Roy did not know then was that he would one day become a complete replacement for Robson after his departure from Manchester United.

Although he had obvious potential, Keane's future in football did not seem so certain. After a trial in Dublin, he was dismissed from the Irish school team; one of the reasons given by former Irish coach and scout Ronan Scalley was that the 14-year-old Keane was "too young" to perform at the right level. Roy was not discouraged and went to English clubs for trials, but was turned

After a couple of years, young Roy got a temporary job (involving physical labour) while he continued to look for options with a professional football career. In 1989, luck has finally turned to Roy: he signed a contract with the Irish semi-professional club Cobh Ramblers. Keane progressed quickly and was regularly on the pitch for both the youth and main team, often playing twice over the weekend as a result.

Faced with tough, powerhouse Irish First Division football, Keane proved his class against much more experienced players. He took his training very seriously, which was reflected in the progression of his game. In the final match of the Irish Youth Cup against Dublin club, Belvedere Boys Keane was spotted by a scout of the English club

Nottingham Forest

, who invited Roy to a trial in England.

Keane impressed Forest head coach Brian Clough and the entire coaching staff, which resulted in the transfer of the young Irishman to Nottingham for £47,000 in the summer of 1990. In this section of

Roy Keane biography

, we want to take a look at his early days and share some information about his Nottingham career.

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Roy Keane Profile

For Keane, the start at Nottingham was problematic as he struggled to settle in and on several occasions, he asked coach Clough to be allowed to travel home. During this important early stage of his career, Clough was willing to do so and Keane expressed great gratitude in his later autobiography, describing the concession as an important factor in overcoming the initial obstacles in professional football.

Keane made his first competitive appearance for the new club during the summer pre-season in the Netherlands. There he played for the U-21 team and scored the decisive penalty kick in the final against Haarlem in a friendly match. Keane quickly made his way through the Nottingham Forest reserve team and into the first eleven, where he made his debut at the start of the 1990/91 season against Liverpool FC. Continuous good performances for "Forest" ensured that Clough used Keane more and more regularly as the season progressed.

On his way to a regular place in 1991, Keane succeeded Steve Hodge, a former England international. This was accompanied by three goals by the time he reached the

FA Cup

final in 1991, where his side Forest were narrowly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur. The following year he reached another final in the League Cup, where he lost 1-0 to his future club Manchester United.

Following the launch of the

Premier League

in 1992/93, Nottingham was relegated to the bottom of the table. For the ambitious Keane, it was clear that he did not want to go down the road to the second division and he had therefore negotiated an exit clause. The result was a split with Clough, who called Keane a "greedy kid" in view of his high salary demands and said that Keane was the most promising player in football at the moment but would not ruin the club.

There was little of the disagreement that stuck with the club's own supporters, which was reflected in the fan vote for the best player of the past 1992/93 season. When Nottingham's relegation was certain and Keane invoked the exit clause,

Blackburn Rovers

were quickly found as the main interested party and the clubs involved reached a transfer agreement in principle plus the payment of a transfer fee of four million pounds.

Just on the day the contract papers were to be signed, Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson phoned Keane and persuaded him to drop the Blackburn deal and join "his" club instead. Within two weeks, the transfer was made for a then-record British fee of £3.75 million.

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Manchester United

Manchester United

was on their way to becoming the dominant English team in the early 1990s and had won the league title for the first time in 26 years. Coach Ferguson had earmarked Keane as the medium-term successor to the ageing Bryan Robson and in his very first home game on 19 August 1993, the newcomer scored twice in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United. At the end of the season, Man United defended the league and won the first double in the club's history.

Ferguson then began to rebuild the team: he sold older players and replaced them with young talents such as David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, which is why Keane was soon one of the experienced players in the squad. At the beginning he not only played in his preferred position in central midfield but in the 1994/95 season, for example, he also helped out at right-back or in central defence. Basically, however, he was the focal point of the central midfield of the rebuilt United team with his tackling strength and passing ability, and not a few experts already described him as the best midfielder in the Premier League.

A not insignificant factor in the rebuilding phase was that Keane worked well with the young Butt, who suddenly had to take over Paul Ince's responsible role after his surprising transfer. Not only did he celebrate the double success of FA Cup and English league title again with United in 1996, but rumours also arose about a possible move to

FC Barcelona

, who were coached by Bobby Robson at the time. Keane made his position clear by signing a new five-year contract with Manchester in August 1996 and winning his third Premier League title - the club's fourth in five years.

Following the departure of Eric Cantona, Keane took over as captain in the summer of 1997, but his steady positive development came to a sudden halt when he tore his cruciate ligament in a running duel with Alf-Inge Haaland at Leeds United in September 1997. Because Haaland suddenly accused him of “faking it", Keane revenged himself on him after more than three and a half years with a serious and deliberate foul. Keane's long injury lay-off, which lasted until shortly before the end of the 1997/98 season, was partially one of the reasons why Manchester United remained without a trophy that year.

Keane proved his special abilities again in the 1998/99 season. He missed only seven competitive games in the entire season. Keane played a decisive role in the treble triumph of Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League, which already started in the group stage when he scored the opening goal in the important last game against

FC Bayern Munich

(final score: 1-1), thus narrowly qualifying for the knockout games.

His contribution in the first FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal FC was also significant, although he saw a red card later in the match and was suspended for the replay. Arguably one of his best performances of his entire career was in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Juventus Turin when his team were already 2-0 down and he spectacularly turned the game around to win 3-2 under his leadership. However, a yellow card suspension meant he was "condemned" to watch his side's 2-1 final win over FC Bayern Munich.

Keane had again aroused interest from


, but United once again turned away transfer bids with another contract extension that, according to press reports, earned him a weekly salary of £55,000. The 1999/2000 season's highlights for him were winning the Intercontinental Cup when Keane provided the only goal in a 1-0 win over Palmeiras

Sao Paulo

. He ended the season being voted England's Footballer of the Year - both by the Journalists' Association and via the players' union, the PFA.

Keane played a more defensive role in the following years, which resulted in fewer goals for him, but allowed players like David Beckham to play more attacking roles in the 2000/01 season. Although the Champions League season ended somewhat disappointingly in the quarter-finals despite a promising start, Keane defended the English league championship with United in 2001 in a superior fashion.

Another example of United's dependence on their skipper "Keane" was the title-less 2001/02 season, in which the captain was absent through injury from late September to early November 2001 and was first deployed in the four-man defensive line on his return to help stem the tide of goals conceded.

A year later he won the seventh and final English Premier League title of his active career, and although he was now in the "autumn of his career" and a hip operation had put him temporarily out of action, he made a significant contribution to Premier League success - due in no small part to the fact that he focused entirely on club football following his (temporary) retirement from the Irish national team. Even though Keane had double competition in his position in the form of Kléberson and Éric Djemba-Djemba, both new signings for the 2003/04 season, he continued to defend his regular place and led the team to their fourth - and final - FA Cup success after a 3-0 win over

Millwall FC

in the final.

It was Keane's last title in English football as a player and after a 2004/05 season that ended without a trophy, Keane let it be known that the 2005/06 season would be his last at Old Trafford. This had been adversely affected at the outset by his chronic back and pelvic problems and suddenly, in November 2005, the club announced the immediate parting of ways with its honoured player, who was therefore allowed a move to Celtic Glasgow - and thus the fulfilment of a "childhood dream" - the following month.

The departure was triggered by an escalating dispute between Keane and his coach Alex Ferguson. Keane had harshly criticised the club's transfer policy and several of his team-mates, including Rio Ferdinand, Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith, John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher, in an interview with the club's own television station "MUTV" a few weeks earlier. Ferguson subsequently banned the interview from being broadcast.

In this section of

Roy Keane biography

, we want to take a look at his early days and share some information about his Celtic career.

Celtic Glasgow

After signing for Celtic on 15 December 2005, Keane made his first appearance in January 2006 in a third-round cup tie against lower-ranked Clyde FC, where they surprisingly lost 2-1. Despite his unsuccessful debut, the remainder of the 2005/06 season was positive and Keane won the Scottish Premiership and the League Cup in a derby win against Rangers, in which he was named Man of the Match. However, after just six months his spell in Scotland had come to an end and on medical advice, Keane declared the end of his career on 12 June 2006.

His farewell match followed at Old Trafford on 9 May 2006 in front of 69,591 spectators, in which he played a half each for Manchester United and Celtic Glasgow. Keane donated the proceeds of the match to charity.

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Ireland National Team

Manchester United captain in May 2002 only days before the 2002 World Cup in




sensationally announced his decision to end his international career, having a fight with the national team coach Mick McCarthy and publicly criticised the preparation of the team for the

World Cup

. However, his record did include participation in the 1994 World Cup in the



Today Keane remains the eighteenth in the number of matches played for the Irish team, and the captain's armband he first wore in 1996 in a match with Russia. He had played a total of 67 international matches between 1991 and 2005, scoring nine goals.

Coaching Career

He started his coaching career on 28 August 2006 as manager of


, an English Second-tier team, which was playing at Championship. Under his leadership, the club was crowned champions of the league (D2) in its first season. The club thus secured its ticket to the Premier League.

On 4 December 2008, after two years at the head of the team, he stepped down, following a run of five defeats in six matches in November. He then was replaced by Scotland's Ricky Sbragia.

Ipswich Town

In April 2009, he was signed by English second division side

Ipswich Town

, where, as at Sunderland, he was tasked with leading the club back to the top flight. However, after two wins in the last two games of the season, the start of the subsequent 2009/10 season turned out to be a major bad start, with 14 games without a win. It was not until 31 October 2009 that the first "three-pointer" followed and although performances improved, the promotion places were a long way off, as reflected in the 15th place in the final table.

Things did not go according to plan in the 2010/11 season either. Above all, Keane could not get to grips with his team's goal drought and defensive problems. After a series of nine games with seven defeats, Keane and Ipswich Town finally went their separate ways in January 2011. In this section of

Roy Keane biography

, we want to take a look at his early days and share some information about his playing style.

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Style of Play

Keane was a powerful, dominant and highly competitive midfielder. He was known for his mobility, energy and tough style of play. Usually operating in the box-to-box role in the centre, he was considered one of the best players in the world in his position. His most obvious characteristics were stamina, tenacity, aggression and a winning mentality.

A complete midfielder, he was able to retrieve the ball, carry it forward and distribute it with precise passes to his team-mates, creating chances; he could also personally score on occasion by means of a powerful shot from outside the box or deadly runs into it. An influential presence on the pitch, he stood out for his strong character, which was reflected in his charismatic leadership but also in his fiery temperament, which led him to commit some very hard fouls (he received 7 direct red cards in his career).


He is widely regarded by many fans and critics to be one of the best central midfielders of all time and some claim that he is the best ever footballer to ever have emerged from



Goal Celebration

Despite playing as a central defender, he has scored almost 90 goals during his club career which is really good for such a player who mostly played with more defensive roles on the pitch. Roy Keane did not have a signature goal celebration and almost all the time we saw him celebrate goals in different manners.

Roy Keane outside Football

Roy Keane is amongst the footballers who always try to stay away from the media and therefore there is not much information about his life outside football at the moment. However, because Keane is the dad of five, we can suggest that he spends most of his time with his family.

Roy Keane Personal Life

In this section of Roy Keane biography, we will take a look at his personal life and share some details of

Roy Keane life story


Roy Keane religion


Family, Children and Relationships

Roy Keane is married to his wife Theresa Doyle and they have five children together: Shannon, Caragh, Aidan, Leah and Alanna. The couple met in 1992 when at the time Teresa was a dental assistant and Roy was playing for Nottingham Forest. They married in Cork in 1997.

After Keane's move to Manchester United, he and his family moved from a modern cottage in Bowdon to a mansion in Hale, Greater Manchester. However, privacy was worse than Roy had hoped for. Reporters often spotted Roy walking Triggs (his Labrador dog); the Irishman was also a regular at the Bleeding Wolf pub. It was there that journalists met Keane on the night of David Beckham's wedding. When asked why he didn't go to his teammate's wedding, Roy said, "It was a choice between the wedding and the Wolf. And Wolf took the upper hand."

Seeking more privacy, Keane decided to demolish the 1930s-built house, on the site of which a new £2.5 million mansion was built. During his time at Sunderland, Keane and his family lived in Durham, near Sunderland. On 6 June 2009, he and his family moved to a new home in Ipswich, close to the Ipswich Town's training ground.

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Keane always participates in different charity projects and is active in various charitable works. As we told you before, he donated all of the proceedings from his farewell match at Old Trafford to charity, a match which had around 70,000 spectators. In this section of Roy Keane biography, we want to take a look at his early days and share some information about his legal issues.

Legal Issues

Roy Keane had a conflict with Haaland, the Norwegian midfielder of Manchester City when he stated in his autobiography that he deliberately injured the midfielder in a match. In 2002, it was announced that both Manchester City and Haaland are going to sue Manchester city and Roy Keane.

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Roy Keane Career Statistics

In this section of Roy Keane biography, we will take a look at his career stats both as a player and manager. Stay tuned.


Between 1989 and 2006, Roy Keane played a total of 676 matches and scored 87 goals for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Celtic. He played most of his club career matches for Man United during his 13-year spell with the Red Devils



On the international level, Keane played a total of 67 matches for his country and scored 9 goals. His best year with Ireland was 2001 where he played 7 matches and scored 4 goals in 2002 World Cup qualification matches.


During his coaching career, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich Town in 181 matches, where his teams won 70, drawn 42 and lost 69 matches. His win ratio at Sunderland was 42 and at Ipswich Town was 34.6 percent.

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Roy Keane Honors

As one of the most decorated Irish footballers of all time, Roy Keane has won Premier League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, UEFA Champions League, Scottish Premier League and some other titles in his playing days.

As a manager, he has won Football League Championship and promotion to EPL with Sunderland in 2007.

Of his notable individual titles, we can mention PFA Team of the Century, Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, FIFA 100 and LMA Championship Manager of the Year among many others.

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