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‘KEANE WAS A CELTIC MAN. I WAS A RANGERS MAN. HE DIDN’T LIKE ME’: GORAM RECALLS UNITED DAYS

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RANGERS and Scotland goalkeeping legend Andy Goram had recalled his brief stint at Manchester United.

And the former international No.1 revealed Old Trafford icon Roy Keane didn’t exactly welcome him to the club.

Goram, in the last weeks of his contract at Motherwell, found himself at United after a shotstopper crisis saw Fabien Barthez and Raimond van der Gouw both injured ahead of a ­crucial Champions League game at Bayern Munich.

That forced Sir Alex Ferguson to send an SOS to Goram in March 2001.
And when he ­arrived at United’s training ground on loan, Celtic fan Keane was in no mood to ­welcome the club’s latest signing.

Goram, speaking to the Daily Mirror reflected on his first meeting with the Republic Ireland great and said: “Shark’s eyes. Dead, devoid of emotion, glaring at me. No handshake. Welcome to Manchester United, Roy Keane-style.

“The man who saw himself as the heartbeat of the Reds was giving me a message.

“He just looked right through me as an embarrassed Steve McClaren, who at the time was Ferguson’s No.2, tried to ­introduce the new on-loan keeper to his volcanic captain.

“From that second I knew there was no point in me ­making an effort with Keane.

“Roy had things that he stood by, things that framed his life, beliefs he clung to with a burning intensity. Well, I had mine.

“What he did to me on that first morning at work at the most famous football club in the world didn’t faze me. It didn’t send me scurrying into my shell. I just thought, ‘F*** it. He’s not going to stop me enjoying this’.

“Keane was a Celtic man, I was a Rangers man. He didn’t like me. End of story.

“Fair enough. After all, I’d done enough to make some Celtic fans dislike me in seven years at Ibrox. There was to be no handshake. Ever.

The truth is we didn’t ­exchange a civil word in the three months I was at Old ­Trafford.

“From day one we had ­arguments on the training pitch and didn’t get on. It was serious stuff. He hated the sight of me.

“However, I was 36 and I’d landed the move of my life in the twilight of my career.

“Was I going to let one man’s sneering disdain for me wreck the experience? Forget it.

“There were clashes between us. One day in training, we were playing a game of eight-a-side and Keane and Luke Chadwick were up front for my team.

“I always prided myself on the accuracy of my kicking, on being able to pick out a player from a distance, and that day I half-volleyed a peach right on to Chadwick’s foot.

“The kid snatched at it and ballooned his volley over the bar. Suddenly, I was the target of a volley of abuse from Keane. ‘Hey you, give me the f*****g ball,’ he screamed.

“I replied: ‘What, do you get the ball just because you’re Roy Keane? F*** off’.

“The ­atmosphere was icy from that moment on and on the way off the field Gary Neville collared me. ‘Goalie,’ he said, ‘we don’t talk to Roy like that down here. We just don’t’. It was a telling insight for me. Of course, I respected Keane as a player, but I couldn’t have that.“As far as I was concerned, the way he spoke to some of the players was bang out of order. Many of them at Old Trafford were clearly s**t-scared of him.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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