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Roy Keane & Charity
If it is true that charity should begin at home then Roy Keane certainly passed that test. At one stage Keane sent so much cash home to his family that his father, Mossie, earned the nickname Sterling Moss because he always seemed to have a lot of the British currency on him.
Roy Keane grew up in Lotamore Park in a modest house in Mayfield, a working class area of north Cork. In the mid 1990's Keane signed a contract with Manchester United which was worth in excess of £1 million per season. Soon after this he spent £150,000 on a new house for his parents in Whitechurch, north of Cork. It had five bedrooms, a sauna and jacuzzi.
Keane regularly paid for his friends and family to come over for his home matches in Nottingham and then Manchester. He even spent €30,000 for his family and friends to come out to the Far East for the 2002 World Cup.
Beyond the largesse demonstrated to his family Roy Keane has also been involved in many acts of generosity to others, and particularly towards children. It is to his credit that the only mention of this in his autobiography, is a passing reference in defence of an accusation by elements of the media that Keane had snubbed sick children by not showing up for Niall Quinn's testimonial match.[Page 255].
Stafford Hildred and Tim Ewbank in Keano: Portrait of a Hero state that Roy Keane's charitable activity began with an unpublicised Forest visit to a home for handicapped children. The then manager of Nottingham Forest apparently said, "The other day I took my son and Roy Keane to visit a child's spastic home...we lit the place up but they lit us up too." Apparently Keane was moved by this visit and decided to support the underprivileged, "...in a constant quiet assistance for countless charities, sometimes by lending his name, at other times in more direct, more private ways."[Page 74].
Hildred and Ewbank also reported that when Keane, as a 21 year old, won the Barclays Young Eagle of the Month he "...donated his £250 prize to the Anne Diamond Cot Death Appeal Fund." [Page 71-72]. On a later occasion he donated his £250 prize to the Karen Seaman Trust Fund in addition to a "...large personal donation himself." [Page 74]
There are many anecdotes about wonderful acts of kindness by Roy Keane but the private way that he helps others, particularly children in need, means that it is difficult to ascertain the precise details of his kindness. Keano: Portrait of a legend includes the following,
"...No one really knows about the good work Roy does...He's always up at the local kids hospital, visiting the children with leukaemia...yet he wouldn't want a photographer there and wouldn't even mention it to people...a woman we knew told Roy about a very ill young girl who was mad on Manchester United. The next day Roy went round and spent two hours with the little girl."[Page 199].
In contrast, Keane lends very public support to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. This is a charity that is based in Keane's native Cork and involves working with dogs - an ideal combination and probably almost irresistible for Roy.
His love of Cork and dogs, allied to doing something positive for people less well off than himself, allowed the usually reticent Keane go public. The charity, which relies almost entirely upon voluntary donations, benefits by Keane's willingness to go public in his support.
Note: If you are aware of an act of kindness by Roy Keane that you feel should be included here please contact Soccer-Ireland.com with as much detail as possible.
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