Eamon Dunphy: I hung myself out to dry, not Roy Keane


Roy Keane with Eamon Dunphy after the publication of Keane's biography

Ger Keville

Eamon Dunphy has rebuffed Roy Keane’s claims that he hung him out to dry at a misconduct hearing in relation to the midfielder’s infamous tackle on Alfe Inge Haaland.

In his second autobiography, The Second Half, due for official release on Thursday, Keane claimed that using Dunphy as a witness backfired on him.

Dunphy was the ghost writer for Keane's first book in 2003 and the pair had a very public fallout shortly afterwards.

“Eamon was my ghost-writer and had come across from Ireland for the hearing to be a witness,” writes Keane. “He had already said that he’d used his own words to describe the tackle. Before he went in, I’d been going to say to him, ‘Eamon if they ask you if you think I intentionally went to injure Haaland then say no’.

“But I decided not to; I wouldn’'t embarrass him by saying something as simple as that. Jim Sturman (the lawyer acting on the FA’s behalf) asked him, ‘Mister Dunphy, do you think Mister Keane intentionally went to injure his fellow professional, Mister Haaland?’

“And Eamon’s three words back to Sturman were, ‘Without a doubt’. That was my case, my defence, out the window.

“Eamon had written the book; he was my witness. Eamon felt he was on trial, and that it was a criminal court. He wanted to distance himself from it and I could see his point of view.” Keane adds: “I looked at him and thought, 'I'm definitely f***ed now’'. I’m not blaming Eamon at all but he didn't help.”

But Dunphy claims that there was no ill-feeling between himself and Keane following the hearing and that the current Ireland assistant manager doesn’t really believe that Dunphy hung him out to dry.

Roy Keane stands over Alf Inge Haaland during a Manchester derby clash in 2000

“Actually that misconduct hearing wasn’t about the tackle on Alfie Haaland at all. He was charged with bringing the game into disrepute,” said Dunphy on Today FM’s Ray D’Arcy show today.

“And far from hanging him out to dry, I hung myself out to dry. I said I made the whole thing up. I sort of threw myself under the bus. And he’s actually quoted in this book as saying he has no regrets about the Alfe Inge Haaland thing.

“To be fair, six months after that hearing he sent me a personal invitation to his testimonial and he asked me would I write a piece for his testimonial brochure. We had a drink on the night and everything was hunky dory. So I don’t think in his wildest imagination does he think I screwed him at the hearing.”

Dunphy also had a few words for ghost writer of The Second Half, Roddy Doyle.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Roddy Doyle because the last book sold more than 650,00 hardback. So, the pressure’s on, baby.”

And according to Dunphy, Doyle has a much easier task than he did 11 years ago.

“When I was doing his first book, he was captain of the United team and captain of Ireland. And you know he spoke with great affection and respect about Alex Ferguson who looked after him when he got in trouble which as a young man, Roy was often in trouble at one time or another.

“When you’re in that position, you’re in the dressing-room, there’s an omerta. And you wouldn’t expect him to break that and he didn’t.

“A lot of what he had to say was fascinating. It was his account of the Jack Charlton era and his view of Jack which was you know pretty sour really and interesting and it added to the store of knowledge about the Charlton era.

“But when you’re working every day with people it’s very hard to talk openly. Now, Roddy Doyle, this is 12 years on he can talk candidly about Manchester United and the players he played with, so in theory it would be an easier job now. Because there are fewer constraints.”