Roy Keane

Crerand wishes Keane a happy 50th birthday

Tuesday 10 August 2021 12:03

As Roy Keane celebrates his half-century, a fellow former midfield general of Old Trafford has wished him a happy 50th birthday.

Paddy Crerand, who played 397 times for Manchester United and, like Roy, also featured for Celtic, couldn't believe the Irishman had hit the milestone already.

"You're joking?" he said.

"It's funny because I played in Cork in 1963 - one of my first games for United - and who do you think I met at that game in Cork?

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"It was Roy Keane's father. He was a mad, mad United fan.

"I obviously met him hundreds of times afterwards when his son played for Manchester United but if ever a father got a thrill of his life, it must have been him when Roy signed for United. He was a massive United fan."

Between the two of them, Crerand and Keane played almost 900 times for United and both had the tenacity and desire to win that made them fan favourites.

"He was a fantastic player for United, Roy," Paddy continued, "and he was a bargain."

Keane's transfer to United broke the British transfer record at £3.75m, but with 480 appearances and 51 goals following, helping the Reds to seven Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League and four FA Cups, it certainly paid off.

"Being from Cork, everyone in Cork supports Manchester United," Crerand said.

"Noel Cantwell [146 appearances for United] was another from Cork, and he was captain at that friendly in 1963.

"Denis Irwin, too, he was a little genius, a magnificent player, absolutely incredible. Frank O'Farrell as well came from there, he was manager for a time [1971-72]."