Monday 19 February 2018

'Hartey, I'm going to smash you' – Former Ireland defender jokingly recalls encounter with Roy Keane in hotel bar

Ian Harte won 63 caps in an Ireland career that spanned 11 years
Ian Harte won 63 caps in an Ireland career that spanned 11 years
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Former Ireland defender Ian Harte jokingly retold a story to illustrate that when it came to a competitive edge, not even international team-mates were spared by Roy Keane's ferocious will to win.

Harte won 63 caps for Ireland and represented his country at the 2002 World Cup and announced his retirement from the game last August in a club career that was best remembered for his time at Leeds United.

Speaking on The Fantasy Football Club on Sky Sports this week, the dead-ball specialist picked his all-time XI, with the current Republic of Ireland assistant manager chosen in midfield for his impact on those around him and his sheer will to win.

Harte was asked in studio if he was "afraid" of the fiery Cork man and the 38-year-old recalled a story while he was a Leeds United player of the fear the former Manchester United captain could instil on those around him.

"We were playing against Man United on a Saturday and we were away on international duty," he told host Max Rushden and Paul Merson.

"Obviously we had had a few drinks and we went back to the hotel bar and Roy was in there at the time.

"I went up and said, 'Roy, do you want a drink?'. He said, 'No, no I'm fine'.

"He says, 'Hartey when we play at the weekend, I'm going to smash you'.

"I said to the guy, 'Cancel that drink, I'm off to my room!'".

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