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Meet brave Keane - the brave little boy named after Roy

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Pictured here are Keane Byrne O'Regan with his mother Gillian, father Ronald and   Roy Keane  at the signing of their book, The Second Half,  today at Eason St. Patrick's Street, Cork.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Pictured here are Keane Byrne O'Regan with his mother Gillian, father Ronald and Roy Keane at the signing of their book, The Second Half, today at Eason St. Patrick's Street, Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Roy Keane and Elaine Hawe

Roy Keane and Elaine Hawe

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Pictured here are Keane Byrne O'Regan with his mother Gillian, father Ronald and Roy Keane at the signing of their book, The Second Half, today at Eason St. Patrick's Street, Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

ROY Keane was visibly moved when he met a brave two-year-old named after him who has successfully battled a serious heart condition.

Keane, who was in his native Cork to sign copies of his biography at Eason's with ghost writer Roddy Doyle, gave a special warrior's welcome to little Keane Byrne-O'Regan who has recovered from open heart surgery at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin.

Keane, who also has Down Syndrome, got to meet his hero when his parents Ronald and Gillian took him along to the signing.

"Keane's named after Roy," said Ronald. "He was born with a hole in his heart and we said that if his heart was as strong as Roy's - and if his temper wasn't as bad - he'd be all right in life.

"He had a heart operation last year and he's flying now, thank God. Today is the first day he got to meet Roy after two years of trying."

Gillian said the football star, who is again sporting a beard, couldn't have been nicer.

"He was wondering how Keane was and how his medical health was. He was absolutely fantastic and so kind," she said.

touched

The family, who live in Kilworth, north Co Cork, said they were touched by Roy's support, including a special message sent via his brother Johnson on the day Keane was born.

Keane, who also has hearing problems, will face annual heart checks for the foreseeable future.

"It was definitely Christmas come early for us today - it was a dream come true for Keane to finally meet Roy," said Ronald.

Roy's loyal legion of Cork fans queued from 7am to meet him, with more than 300 gathering in Patrick Street.

Paul O'Sullivan from Blarney was first in the queue.

"I'm a huge Manchester United fan and a great fan of Roy so this was an opportunity I wasn't going to let slip," he said.

John O'Callaghan from Inniscarra also queued to get Roy's signature on his first biography in 2002.

"I was here for the last signing after Saipan 12 years ago," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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