Roy Keane and a pint of Guinness at the legendary Haçienda

Former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Roy Keane was notorious on the pitch for his relentless work ethic. The Irishman would hound, tackle and even fight his opponents but off the pitch, he was quite the character as well, with headlines of boozing from his early days featuring in the papers.

However, Keane’s gruff persona was at odds with the vibrant Manchester music scene, which was in full swing by the time that he joined United. Nowhere more so than The Hacienda club. However, Keano was willing to give everything a chance…

In an extract from Dave Haslam’s book ‘Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor’, as reported by MEN, the former Hacienda club DJ told an incredible story about a young Keane venturing into the nightclub and it clearly leaving a lasting impression.

“A number of footballers came to ‘Yellow’ (Haslam’s club night); 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.

3 Aug 1997: Roy Keane (left) and Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United hold the FA Charity Shield after victory against Chelsea at Wembley. The match was drawn 1-1 but Manchester United won 4-2 on penalty kicks. Photo Graham Chadwick /Allsport

“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.”

 Roy Keane (L), manager Gordon Strachan and Chief Executive Peter Lawwell attend a press conference to announce Keane’s signing for Glasgow Celtic on December 15, 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Peebles/Getty Images)

After signing for United from Nottingham Forest, Keane would go onto make 480 appearances as the heartbeat of Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams in the late nineties and early noughties. With 17 major honours to his name, Keane was well regarded as a United legend but that didn’t save him from a spat with Ferguson that resulted in an abrupt departure.

Keane would then sign for Celtic, which he later said was in part to spite Gordon Strachan. Keane made just 13 appearances for his boyhood club, scoring once before he was forced to retire. It is a shame that fans were only limited to such a small amount of games watching Keane as games like this showcase how good a player he still was, even if he was in the twilight of his career.

Roy Keane of Celtic shouts to his team mates during the Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox on February 12, 2006. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Keane would help Celtic complete a double that season with the League Cup and League, his last as a player and Matt Corr tells the inside story behind Keane’s time at Celtic in his new book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan, which tells the story of Gordon Strachan’s first season as Celtic manager.

Keane has made the move into management and coaching since retiring but he continues to earn the headlines for his work as a pundit.

Click on image to order a signed copy of Majic, Stan & The King of Japan from The Celtic Star.
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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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