Monday 16 September 2019

Roy Keane book: I was glad Clive Clarke had a heart attack - it distracted from Sunderland's defeat

Roy Keane revealed that he succumbed to an "evil thought" and felt glad that Clive Clarke suffered a heart attack on the same night that Sunderland suffered an embarrassing defeat because it detracted from the result.

rishman Clarke was on loan from Sunderland at Leicester City when he went into cardiac arrest in the City Ground changing rooms during a match against Nottingham Forest in August 2007, forcing the tie to be abandoned at half-time.

Sunderland, then in the Premier League, lost 3-0 at home to League One club Luton on the same night.

Keane, who was Sunderland manager at the time, wrote: "I had the evil thought: 'I'm glad he had it tonight'; because it would deflect from our woeful performance."

Keane, who once joked that he was surprised "they’d found a heart" in the player because of the way he played, added that he sometimes forgot that he "wasn’t the only person with parents and children".

Keane has also accused Alex Ferguson and Manchester United of treating the infamous MUTV rant which led to his Old Trafford departure as a ‘nuclear weapon’ which ‘had to be destroyed.’

Keane’s United contract was terminated within days of the Irishman appearing on MUTV’s ‘Play the Pundit’ programme following a 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough in October 2005.

The programme was pulled from MUTV schedules prior to its planned airing amid claims that Keane had lambasted his team-mates with a series of withering observations.

But the then-United captain claims the club over-reacted after insisting that his comments were accepted by his team-mates.

“The MUTV people go: ‘It’s your turn,” Keane said, when asked about his appearance on Play the Pundit. “I had to do it.

“I was disappointed with the players, but it was MUTV, propaganda for the club. So I did the interview.

“The idea that I was in the studio ranting and raving, no. It was quite calculated.

“Even now people still say: ‘The video had to be destroyed’. Like it was a nuclear weapon or something.

“Did someone drive out to the countryside and bury it in the f------ ground? Or did a bomb disposal unit come and explode it? It had to be destroyed.”

Despite the furore caused by United blocking the programme being aired by MUTV, Keane claims he had no concerns about his team-mates witnessing his appearance.

“I wasn’t worried about the dressing room,” Keane said. “They knew my form.

“It was getting a bit silly so I got the players together in the dressing room and told them it was f------ nonsense.

“Not one of them had an issue. Not one.”

Keane admits he was ’relieved’ when a video of the programme was shown to the players on Ferguson instructions.

But despite a general mood of acceptance among his team-mates, Ferguson’s reaction was less forgiving.

“We watched the video,” Keane said. “It ended and I was very relieved. It tallied with what I had told the players.

“The mood was still good between me and the players, but the manager and Carlos (Queiroz) were in the back with steam coming out of their ears.

“The manager said: ‘It’s a disgrace, this f------ video.’”

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Selection dilemma for Dublin and All-Ireland ladies football final preview

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport