Roy Keane in action for Manchester United.

Roy Keane's first interview at United

Travel back in time to 1993 and the first interview of Roy Keane’s now iconic Manchester United career, in which the Irishman opened up on his high-profile transfer from Nottingham Forest and decision to turn down Blackburn Rovers…

Your transfer was a long, drawn-out procedure. Did you, at any time, doubt that you would end up at Old Trafford? 
No, not really. United were the last club that I spoke to, but when we finally got together, I knew that this was the club I wanted to join. I'd already had talks with Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn but, in my heart, it was Manchester United who I wanted to play for.

There must have been some moments of uncertainty...
I admit that I did shake hands with Kenny Dalglish but I had always said that I was going to keep my options open and I never fully committed myself to Blackburn. After Nottingham Forest were relegated, I had set my heart on coming to United but, even so, I decided to keep my options open and have talks with Blackburn. Obviously I was really pleased when United finally made their move. Once I had spoken with Alex Ferguson, my mind was made up and I wanted to get over here as soon as possible! I'm just glad it's all over.
Why were you so determined to come to United? 
Have you got two hours to spare? There are so many reasons why I wanted to come here. United are a great club with a wonderful history, and they've got the best team and support in the country. I'm very proud to be part of such a successful club and I hope that I can contribute something towards it.

Would you agree that coming to Old Trafford was a career move rather than a money move? 
Yes, definitely. Forest realised that playing First Division football would not benefit my career so I don't think they were too surprised that I wanted to leave. Signing for United is the best career move I could have possibly made. I'm still quite young - 21 - so money isn't the most important thing to me. I've been given a good contract but I'm more bothered about establishing myself at United.

What do you think you can achieve at United?
Well, getting into the first team will be the first challenge because there are so many great players here! Obviously I'm looking to doing well in Europe and I'm sure we'll be trying our best in the competitions at home. As I said, my main concern is edging my way into the squad and then playing as well as I can for the club.
Roy Keane in 1993 says

"I did shake hands with Kenny Dalglish but I never fully committed myself to Blackburn. After Nottingham Forest were relegated, I had set my heart on coming to United."

People have been touting you as the next Bryan Robson... 
That's paper talk for you! Some people are trying to compare us but I don't see how they can do that. He's Bryan Robson and I'm Roy Keane. Two different people! It is very flattering to have such a comparison made though - I respect Bryan a great deal and I met him for the first time today. He's a fantastic professional and if I can play half as well as he can, I'll be very happy.

Has United's Irish connection influenced your decision to come to the club? 
Definitely! Over in Ireland, everybody seems to support United. When I went home to Cork in the summer everyone was pressurising me to sign for them! My family and friends knew that I had already made up my mind but they still hassled me. There have been a lot of Irishmen who have played successfully for United and I hope that I can carry on the tradition.

This is why we all loved Keano!Video


We love these six introspective quotes from the new recruit back in 1993…
Keane on Keane

“I hate losing in training. I'm always arguing, having a go at everybody. I take my job very seriously.”

Keane on Keane

“Only three summers ago, I was in my local pub cheering the Republic of Ireland on in the World Cup. Now I'm playing with them. Fantastic!”

Keane on Keane

“I'm easy-going, happy-go-lucky. Nothing really bothers me.”

Keane on Keane

“Goalscoring is something you can't teach a player.”

Keane on Keane

"I just try to keep out of the limelight. I don't want to be like Gazza."

Keane on Keane

“I'm not the most skilful of players. I just work hard on my game and play to my strengths.”

This interview first appeared in the September 1993 edition of Inside United.