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Sunday 22 September 2019

Roy Keane: My sister convinced me to rescue Niall Quinn at Sunderland

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn shakes hands with new manager Roy Keane during a press conference at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn shakes hands with new manager Roy Keane during a press conference at the Stadium of Light

Sam Griffin

ROY Keane has revealed he only accepted the manager’s job at Sunderland after his sister ordered him to help out his former Ireland team mate Niall Quinn.

In his new book ‘The Second Half’, the Corkman outlines how the Drumaville consortium, which owned Sunderland, approached Keane and asked him to fill the vacant manager’s seat at the club.

Keane reveals he rejected the initial offers which saw the consortium, which included Niall and Quinn and infamous Dublin publican Charlie Chawke, fly the former Man United captain over to Dublin in a helicopter where they offered him the job.

Keane writes: “Sunderland should have been a nightmare. It had seven or eight Irish owners! There’d be a lot of interference; they’d all feel they owned the club. I’d have too many people to answer to.”

Keane reveals the meeting in the summer of 2006 was the first time he had spoken to Niall Quinn since the two fell-out during the Saipan World Cup controversy in 2002.

The consortium then offered Keane the job however reveals he rejected it as he wanted to obtain his Uefa coaching licenses.

“I started my Uefa A course that summer, then I went on holiday for a few weeks in August. I was in Portgual when the seasons started and I watched a few matches on television. Sunderland were struggling badly,” Keane says after the team slumped to five straight losses.

“They played Bury away in the League Cup on a Tuesday night. And they were beaten. Niall was interviewed after the game; he was their temporary manager. He looked about a hundred,” Keane writes.

“My sister texted me: Did you see Niall Quinn? You need to help him out.

“I looked at Niall and I rang Michael Kennedy (solicitor) the next day. I asked him to get in touch with Sunderland: ‘If they still want me, I’ll go for it.’

Keane says the consortium later got back to him and said: ‘It’s there for you if you want it’.

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