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A Brilliant Story Has Emerged Of Roy Keane's Miserable Night Out In The 90s

By James Fenton

May 28, 2018 at 1:50pm

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Of all the Irish sport stars to bump into while you're "in da club", Roy Keane would perhaps be the most surprising. The Republic Of Ireland assistant manager's persona doesn't really lend itself to bangin' beats or glowsticks but like all of us, the Corkman was young once. 

British DJ Dave Haslam has released a new book about the famous Manchester nightlife of the 80s and 90s and given that Manchester United were one of the most successful football teams of the era, it's only natural that some of their young players would have been sampling the nightclub scene. 

One such youngster was Keane, who joined the Old Trafford club as a doe-eyed 21-year-old in 1993 and Haslam has recalled a time when the midfielder rocked up at the Boardwalk club in the city looking for a decent night out. 

In an extract from Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor, published in the Manchester Evening News over the weekend, Haslam recalls Keane turning up at the venue and, despite the reasonable level of fame he had achieved at that stage, not being given VIP treatment. According to Haslam, Keane queued up, paid a fiver in just like everyone else, briefly surveyed the scene over a pint of Guinness before turning around and heading off again.  

Allow Haslam to take up the story...

"A number of footballers came to ‘Yellow’ (Haslam's night at the Boardwalk); perhaps most surprisingly of all, Roy Keane.

"I’m not sure what had led him to come to the club. He never showed a sign of being interested in deep funk, abstract soul or original disco up until then or, indeed, subsequently.

"My theory is that he had been keeping himself to himself in the dressing room, but overheard Giggs and Ince talking about a Friday night out at the Boardwalk, and, undeterred by not having a friend to accompany him, decided to explore the club for himself.

"We seldom gave footballers or anyone else VIP treatment, which was part of the charm of the Haçienda and the Boardwalk.

"It was one of the doormen, Charlie, who alerted me to Roy Keane’s presence in the queue. Charlie, a passionate supporter of Manchester City, spent pre-match hours on the door of the Parkside pub close to Maine Road and he didn’t think Roy needed inviting to the front of the queue.

"In fact, let him wait was the general consensus. Roy Keane got in eventually, after paying the £5 admission.

"He then queued at the bar behind Chris Eccleston, bought himself a Guinness and took up a spot on the edge of the dancefloor, just watching what was going on, no expression on his face.

"Every minute or so he took a sip from his pint. When Jason dropped a great remix of the Bomb the Bass tune ‘Bug Powder Dust’, he didn’t respond, but continued to slowly survey the club in full swing in front of him.

"When he finished his drink, he turned, put the empty pint glass on the side of the bar, walked past the Moss Side guys in their massive coats and the Gorton girls belting out the chorus to ‘I’m Every Woman’, went down the stairs, exited the club and never came back."

Sure look, you have to try everything once, don't you? It's fair to say that Roy's clubbing days are probably behind him at this stage but, as this 1993 interview with Pat Kenny will attest, the Corkman enjoyed his nights out just as much as the next man back in the day. 

READ NEXT: Roy Keane Landed A Sick Burn On England At A Press Conference Yesterday

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