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Roy Keane - The Family Man
There are many aspects of Keane's life that are somewhat inscrutable however there is no mystery about how he feels about his family. Roy Keane's autobiography is littered with references to his family and how comfortable he feels when he is with family members. He described his parents, Maurice (Mossie) and Marie Keane, as "...warm and loving."[Page 1].
He has three brothers, Denis, Johnson, and Pat, and one sister Hilary. He seems to be particularly close to his brothers as there are numerous positive references to them right throughout his book. At times of strife he expressed a longing to be with his family at home.
Keane Maintains a Family Tradition
When it came to picking a schoolboy football club to play for, Roy Keane chose to play for Rockmount AFC. To play for Rockmount involved "...a seven mile journey there and back."[Page 4]. It would have been far more convenient to play for his local soccer club Mayfield. On joining Rockmount Keane said, "I was incredibly proud that I had upheld the Keane family traditional the club where my brothers and uncles had played."[Page 5]. It wasn't particularly easy for Keane to turn his back on his local Mayfield United club. The long distance to Rockmount was only one problem. Being accused of being a traitor to Mayfield was another and sometimes it went beyond accusations and things became physical. Roy Keane wouldn't be deterred and stuck by what be believed. Echoes from the future perhaps.
Even in England Keane Kept His Family Close
When he first joined Nottingham Forest in 1990 his manager, Brian Clough, very often granted Keane's many requests to go home to his family in Cork in between league matches. On a regular basis throughout his career Keane also paid for his family to come over to Nottingham and Manchester for matches. In his book Keane repeatedly refers to the significant efforts that he had to go to to secure tickets for his family and friends for home matches. He also suggests that this impinged to some extent on his preparation for matches and "...over time this would actually drive me crazy."[Page 105]. A very tangible demonstration of his commitment to his family is that he paid €30,000 for members of his family to travel out for the 2002 World Cup.
Keane and His New Family
While still at Nottingham Forest Keane met a young woman called Theresa Doyle whose parents were from Bray and Lusk, and who was destined to become his wife. To date they have four children. The photographs in his autobiography and the shots of Keane with his children in his autobiographical video, As I See It, are entirely consistent with his public image as a dedicated family man. Keane's children are totally relaxed and comfortable in his presence. There is a real tenderness evident in his face when he is with his children. No menacing brooding presence in evidence.
In the passage in his book dealing with his arrest just before the 1999 FA Cup Final he said, upon waking up in the police cell, "My first thought was for Theresa and the kids...The press would be outside the house when Shannon was going to school."[Page 204]. Following the celebrations when Manchester United won the Champions League Final in 1999, the Holy Grail for Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane, the footballer just, "...longed to go home to Theresa and the kids."[Page 213]
In his Saipan interview with Roy Keane in May 2002, Paul Kimmage asked Keane about his tattoos."I've got my kids on my right arm: Shannon, Caragh, Aidan and Leah... The wife did ask me why didn't I get hers (name put on) and I said 'they'll always be my kids but you won't necessarily always be my wife,' which she wasn't too pleased about. (laughs)" Somewhat callous perhaps but it is Keane being pragmatic in his own way. However, despite some mischief-making by malevolent types after the Saipan incident, there has never been any suggestion other than Keane is a dedicated family man committed to his wife and children.
NOTE: Unless stated otherwise all quotations are from:
Triggs - The Autobiography of Roy Keane's Dog
Ireland at 2002 World Cup Finals - Irish 2002 World Cup Squad - Irish Group Matches
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