As a player, Roy Keane was a tough, no-nonsense man with a fearsome reputation.
The former Manchester United midfielder would regularly get into heated confrontations with opponents, referees and on occasion even his own teammates and coaches.
While some of those traits have carried over into his second career as a pundit (he’s still known for his rants and refusal to indulge in “bullshit”), the football world is beginning to see that Keane does, in fact, have a funny side.
The 51-year-old was rarely seen with a smile on his face on the pitch, but his stern demeanor seems to have lessened since trading his boots for the television studio, even if he returns to writing on occasion while working. for Sky Sports and ITV.
Here, Mail Sports counts four examples of Keane showing his softer side.
Former Man United star Roy Keane has had his fair share of comedic moments since becoming a TV pundit.
Keane had a fearsome reputation as a player, but he has shown his lighter side in recent years.
Dressing up as a clown for a Sky commercial
In July, Sky Sports launched a fun ad featuring a number of well-known names as circus performers.
The station’s ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ spot featured the likes of Manchester City duo Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish, England men’s cricket captain Ben Stokes, F1 legend Lewis Hamilton, Lionesses star Ella Toone and Emma Raducanu.
Right at the end, the camera pans to emcee Idris Elba talking to Keane, who is dressed as a clown.
Keane can sport a typically serious expression in the video, suggesting he’s not quite sure what he’s doing there, but the fact that he agreed to participate was remarkable.
Sky Sports launched a brilliant new advert last month, featuring Roy Keane as a clown.
He had previously been involved in a SkyBet ad, where he was seen briskly walking towards Craven Cottage, ignoring the fans and Laura Woods before jokingly tapping Jeff Stelling on the shoulder so he can take his place and get into the ground.
The ad also references Keane’s infamous tirade when he is offered a shrimp sandwich on the concourse. He then takes a seat and breathes a sigh of relief only to start shaking his head at a supporter standing a few rows ahead of him, who turns out to be his expert colleague Micah Richards.
Preseason Stories on The Overlap Live
Keane took part in The Overlap’s tour of the country this year, which included stops in London, Dublin, Manchester and Liverpool.
During one of the shows, Keane told a funny story about a night in Chicago during a pre-season tour with Man United.
“We had a night out, we took a couple of young players, preseason, we were definitely in Chicago, I remember,” Keane said.
Keane told a hilarious story about a pre-season visit to a strip club during The Overlap’s tour.
‘I woke up the next morning, Denis (Irwin) is waking me up. We are trying to get off for the bus we were traveling on.
‘I looked and my whole face was black, just black. I couldn’t figure out what happened. I said, “Jesus.”
‘Trying to put on the equipment. I get on the bus, it all comes back to me. I am sitting in the back of the bus, we are traveling, obviously towards the airport.
‘Our press officer sends us a story about some of the Man United players being in a strip club, Chicago.
‘So I’m in the back, I said, ‘Don’t worry about it. They have no proof. No test. Everyone relax. I have it under control. Obviously I’m the captain, you’re fine with me.
Keane then revealed that it hadn’t quite gone to plan. ‘Five minutes (later), the phone rings again. Apparently they have proof. I said, ‘What do they have? That have?’
‘They said: ‘They have your fingerprints.’ He also said: ‘They have your credit card details. Your passport data. And I said, ‘Is that all you have on me?’
So the bus blew up. They did an obviously in-depth story and obviously when I walked in I gave my fingerprints overnight and then I was rubbing my face as the night went on.
That’s all I was rubbing. He was just rubbing my face. I think they ran the story and the headline in some of the Irish papers was something like ‘Horny Devils’ or something.
It’s fair to say that Neville and Carragher enjoyed the anecdote, which left the crowd in stitches.
The archenemy of the ‘pocket’ Patrick Vieira
It’s a shame social media didn’t exist in the heyday of the Irish. If it were, we might have seen even more superb Keane content.
In 2021, Keane was on the pitch for Emirates before Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea while working as a pundit for Sky Sports.
Before Keane went on the air, a Gunners supporter was heard yelling “Where’s Patrick?” and ‘Where is Vieira?’ in his direction, and his response, captured in a video posted on Instagram, was great.
Keane jokingly took out his pocket when asked by Arsenal fans where Patrick Vieira was.
Keane referenced a footballing term as he reached into his trouser pocket, indicating that he had Patrick Vieira, with whom he shared a fiercely intense rivalry on the pitch during their respective spells at Man United and Arsenal, in his pocket.
He then flashed a wry smile as Arsenal fans laughed in the background, with the Instagram video captioned “Roy Keane joking around a bit at Arsenal game.”
Making fun of his own shrimp sandwich rant
To say that Keane’s departure from Man United in 2005 was acrimonious would be an understatement. Sir Alex Ferguson’s general midfielder left the club after a fiery interview with the club’s internal channel MUTV, during which he criticized his teammates and the standards at Old Trafford.
Keane had not been associated with United until he starred in the promotional video that was released to coincide with the launch of his new third kit this week, his first job for the club in 18 years.
And Keane was happy to poke fun at one of his own infamous rants from his playing days.
Following the Red Devils’ Champions League win over Dynamo Kyiv in November 2000, Keane launched a stunning tirade against United’s home crowd.
Keane in a promotional video in light of his famous 2000 ‘prawn sandwich’
“Our away fans are as good as anyone, but some of them come here and you wonder if they understand the game of soccer.” He said.
‘We are 1-0 up, then there are one or two missed passes and they are getting on the backs of the players. It’s just not on.
‘At the end of the day, they need to support the team. Away from home, our fans are fantastic, I would call them hardcore fans.
“But at home they have a few drinks and probably the shrimp sandwiches, and they don’t realize what’s going on on the pitch.
“I don’t think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell football, let alone understand it.
‘To win games by three and four every time, these guys need fantasy football. They need to get into the real world.
At the end of the third kit video, Keane makes fun of his ‘prawn sandwich’ when he is seen looking at a plate full of them shaking his head disapprovingly. Magnificent.