Tuesday 21 May 2019

Hold The Back Page: From Barrytown to Roytown

Roy Keane is still young enough for another autobiography
Roy Keane is still young enough for another autobiography
Eamonn Sweeney

Eamonn Sweeney

Hold the Back Page, in association with Random Howl Publishers, is pleased to present these exclusive extracts from Roy Keane's latest autobiography, written by Roddy Doyle. Yes, I know that an autobiography is supposed to be written by its subject but if you start getting picky about these things we'll get nowhere.

The Beginning

"F**K you, you f**king f**ker, you don't f**king know what you're f**king talking about. Nobody f**king tells me what to f**king do. You're only a f**king pr**k. You can f**king stick this up your f**king arse so you can. F**k, f**k, f**k."

"I beg your pardon."

"Sorry Triggs. I was just reading this Roddy Doyle book. I think we've found our ghostwriter."

The Commitments

"We're going to go out there today and show everyone that we have soul. And myself and Denis Irwin have more soul than anyone. Because the blacks of America are the blacks of America and the blacks are the blacks of Africa and the All Blacks are the blacks of New Zealand and the Irish are the blacks of Europe because there actually aren't any black people in Europe and you know who the blacks of Ireland are?"

"Mary Black and her sister with the wobbly voice?"

"No Stan, f**k off. The blacks of Ireland are the people of C**k. Sorry, Cork. They're better at sport than everyone else, other people are always giving out about them. Blackpool, Blackrock, former Lord Mayor Paud Black, Clonakilty black pudding, Murphy's, all the cards the footballers are going to get this year, Cork is black through and through. Now all we need is a chubby lad from Dublin called Andrew as our lead singer."

"Andrew Strong?"

"No, Andy Reid. A few blasts of his banjo and the opposition will flee in terror. Altogether now, "On deh baaankkssss of my own . . . "

The Snapper

"What are you doing hanging outside my house Mister Dunphy?"

"I just wanted to see you Roy. I was thinking of you like. I hear you're having an autobiography."

"It's none of your business Mister Dunphy."

"Does anyone know who you're having it for?"

"No, and I'm not telling them Mister Dunphy. I think you should go home to your publisher."

"Are you ashamed that it's my autobiography, Roy? Cause I'm not ashamed, I'm delighted I still had a book in me."

"Mister Dunphy, I had a few pints with you in Joys and you took advantage of me. It doesn't mean anything. Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaysus, Mister Dunphy, what are them?"

"They're your shorts Roy. I've been carrying them around with me since that night. I thought you might want them back some time."

"Mister Dunphy, this is terrible. If you've been telling people about it, I'll swing for you so I will."

"I haven't told anyone Roy, it'll just be our little secret. Well, I told Bill and John and Liam."

"And what did they say Mister Dunphy?"

"Liam disagreed with me and said I was talking nonsense and Bill asked me to explain how the ins and outs of this thing work for the man in the street looking in. And John nodded modestly when I said that though you were a good bit of stuff, being with you wasn't the earth-shattering experience it would have been with a truly great lover like Pele or Maradona or Giles."

"You better go Mister Dunphy."

"But I love you Roy."

"You'll get over it. I hear Cristiano Ronaldo is free at the moment."


The Van

Gas Oul' Dubbelin Character: How are you doing there Roy? Could I have a one and one?

Roy: What's that then like?

GODC: The first one is the number of World Cups you played in and the second is the number of ones you got sent home from. Wuhwuhwuhwuh. Who's that in the van with you?

Roy: Missus Brown before she got her sex change and became famous.

GODC: We call these sausages Dunphys. Do you know why we call them that Roy?

Roy: I haven't a clue like.

GODC: Because they won't be writing your second autobiography. Wuhwuhwuhwuh.

Brendan O'Carroll: Mickey.

All: Wuhwuhwuhwuh.

Roy Keane Ha Ha Ha

The grown-ups told us to get in the car and we'd go to the seaside. We were all squashed in the back and Shay was pulling my hair and Niall wouldn't let me sit beside the window and when I said this wasn't fair the grown-ups wouldn't even listen to me.

It wasn't fair because they were nice and comfortable in the front and not squashed at all and they didn't care how bad we felt and then we got to the beach and it was horrible, all covered with stones and not a proper place to play at all and everyone else went off to play together and left me on my own.

On the way back I asked Mick why the grown-ups got to sit in the front and he told me not to be cheeky or I'd get a slap and Damien was dribbling and there was snot all over Robbie's sleeve and this was the worst day out anyone ever had. And what it made worse was that when Paul or Ruud or Ole went away they got to go to really nice beach with their families and it was only our family that went somewhere terrible because they just didn't care about how I felt.

So I got out of the car and walked home and everyone was standing at the gate when I got there and saying, "Roy Keane ha ha ha, has no team."

I didn't care. They were just kids.


The Man Who Walked Into Roy

I knew Roy had a reputation but that never bothered me. I knew him from around Manchester and I always thought I was able to handle him. You tell yourself that it'll never happen to you of course and then one day it does.

We were just having an argument and the next thing, bang. There I was down on the ground and Roy standing over me, asking if I was happy now that I'd made him do it. Everyone tells you not to blame yourself, that there's no excuse when someone hits you like this. But you do feel ashamed, as if you did something to provoke them. And now when I'm limping down to the shop I think they're all looking at me and saying, "Look at him, that's Alf-Inge Haaland, the man that got battered by Roy Keane." Scarleh I am.


The Playboy of the Western World

Setting: A picturesque rural part of Ireland where ancient customs still prevail and the local peasantry always have a smile on their face and a joke on their lips. (Note to director: Think Garth Brooks concert.)

Attractive Female Yokel: What is this that I do be seeing on this dacent and darlin' day when the sun is so warm 'twould rise a tan on an Albino leprechaun.

Roy Keane: (for 'tis he). The blessings of God upon you Hairy Scary Mary Carey for 'tis not going away in the opposite direction but coming towards you that I am.

AFY: A truer word you never spoke you fine-looking craythur. What has you abroad on such a gallant gallus day?

Roy: 'Tis a fine deed I have done for this very day I slew my manager.

AFY: You slew your manager?

Roy: With this fine lump of a prawn sandwich. Wasn't he giving his team talk and didn't I sneak up beside him and strike him down with it, cleaving his very skull with the pointy bit at the side of the plastic wrapping.

AFY: 'Tis the finest bravest bravest finest finest finest bravest bravest deed I ever heard tell of. Everyone, come and see the fine gentleman that this very day slew his manager.

Enter all kinds of yokels who make merry a bit like the Munchkins do in The Wizard of Oz after the witch is dead but with the addition of strong drink and irony about the Celtic Tiger. The Widow Quinn gives Roy the glad eye.

Widow Quinn: I'm thinking that a man that could slay his manager could do anything. Would you like to be fixed up with some land?

Roy: What kind of land would that be?

Widow Quinn: Sunderland.

Suddenly there is a great commotion and the celebrating yokels are scattered by an elderly red-faced man who is clutching a piece of paper to his bleeding scalp. Be the hokey, 'tis Alex of Clan Ferguson.

Alex: Ow, me bleedin' scalp. What does be going on here in the name of all the saints and scholars?

Widow Quinn: 'Tis a party for the man who killed his manager.

Alex: Killed his manager? Faith and begorrah 'tis lies he's telling ye all.

Widow Quinn: Well how came you by yon scar on the head then sor?

Alex: 'Twas a hairdryer I flung at young Beckham of the designer underpants and didn't it rebound and hit me. I bandaged it up with this paper containing my in-depth analysis of my possible successors as United manager. 'Tis unreadable now but what harm. Roy, what make of a place is this?

Roy: 'Tis a place off the beaten track where the world knows not what a man does.

Alex: And you like it?

Roy: Begob and I do.

Alex: Good because I'm sending you to Celtic next week.

The Widow Quinn: Don't forget Sunderland, Roy.

Alex: I'd watch the lanky bird Roy, I'd say she goes through managers at a fierce rate.


A Star Called Thierry Henry

No one remembers what happened in this one so it can stand in for Roy's time at Celtic.


The Giggsler treatment

Mister Keane was walking to his job in Ipswich when he felt something sticky under his foot. YUK. POO. EWWW. How did that get there? He looked up and down the street and realised the POO (YUK!!!!!) had been made by Ranger. Queens Park Ranger who'd pooed all over Ipswich 3-0 in their own backyard.

Then the other dogs joined in, Coventry the Collie did a number two-one all over Mister Keane's team (UUURGH) and so did Watford the Whippet (PUKE!!). Then Norwich the dog who only lived next door did a 4-1 which was twice as bad. (GRRROSSS).

By the time Mister Keane got to his work he was covered in poo. In fact, he was so stinky they told him he couldn't work there anymore. Poor Mister Keane. Poor, poor Mister Keane.


The Paula Spencer Heartwarming Finale

Roy Keane. In his forties. He'd been through the mill, right. Thrown on the scrapheap. Kicked around by Mick. Trapped in a horrible relationship with the FAI. You'd have forgiven him for giving up. But he kept going. Because that's what you do. Keep. Going. In short. Sentences.

And now. Things were looking up. He'd bumped into John. John had been one of Mick's associates in the firm. But he'd been friendly to Roy. Now that Mick wasn't on the scene anymore. Said he could put. A bit of work his way.

He'd even met someone. A nice man. Martin. With lovely curly hair. Someone who'd love Roy for himself. Though they were taking it slow. In a few years they might go on holiday. Martin mentioned Paris. But maybe they'd try somewhere closer first. See how it worked out.

And if they didn't, well Roy wasn't too worried.

He was still young enough for another autobiography.

Play Very Bad Version of Try A Little Tenderness and . . .


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