The Second Half
Roy Keane, Roddy Doyle
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Memoir by one of the greatest of modern footballers, and former captain of Manchester United and Ireland, Roy Keane - co-written in a unique collaboration with Man Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle.
In an eighteen-year playing career for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest (under Brian Clough), Manchester United (under Sir Alex Ferguson) and Celtic, Roy Keane dominated every midfield he led to glory. Aggressive and highly competitive, his attitude helped him to excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. Playing at an international level for nearly all his career, he represented the Republic of Ireland for over fourteen years, mainly as team captain, until an incident with national coach Mick McCarthy resulted in Keane's walk-out from the 2002 World Cup. Since retiring as a player, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich and has become a highly respected television pundit.
As part of a tiny elite of football players, Roy Keane has had a life like no other. His status as one of football's greatest stars is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the pitch? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as a former Manchester United and Ireland leader and champion, reinventing himself as a manager and then a broadcaster, and cope with the psychological struggles this entailed?
In a stunning collaboration with Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, THE SECOND HALF blends anecdote and reflection in Roy Keane's inimitable voice. The result is an unforgettable personal odyssey which fearlessly challenges the meaning of success.
the medical staff; you’d agree a target, a timetable. As an experienced player, I knew my own body. I was ready to come back – ‘I should be ready Monday week’ – but I was being told, ‘No, no, not yet.’ Carlos, for some reason, was reluctant to get me back into the first team. And when he eventually did, he treated me very badly. There was often a practice match at the end of training, ten v. ten, or eight v. eight. This time, I ended up being the last man standing, the last player to be picked.
Celtic, Barcelona, Inter Milan and the reasons I should or shouldn’t have gone to any of them. The fact is, the morning I left United I lost the love for the game a little bit. I could have had every club in the world ringing me but it wouldn’t have given me that buzz, that satisfaction, that ‘Here we go’. I thought I could make a bigger impact at Celtic than I would have at Everton or Madrid. To be honest, I thought it might be a bit easier at Celtic. I knew they would dominate a lot of matches.
come on board – and I’m trying to get another couple of lads in – we’ll be all right.’ They went, ‘Yeah.’ And I went, ‘Brilliant. I’ll put the kettle on.’ It was as simple as that. I almost wish I’d kept that approach more. To be myself. I had to pull a few teeth to get Dave Connolly. Michael Kennedy represented Dave, and I knew he’d play hardball. There was no problem there, even though Michael had represented me; he’d negotiated my contract with Sunderland. But Michael was representing his
travel. I liked going to Munich. I liked Madrid – and Barcelona. I could have a wander if there were no English teams playing, because I wouldn’t have to deal with the fans. We were in Athens, to cover United’s game against Olympiakos, and a group of us went to have a look at the Acropolis. When I was a player I wouldn’t have done that. I enjoyed the trips to London, on the train. I enjoyed walking around London. My day in London was a bit of a treat for myself. Getting to and from the stadiums
weight off the shoulders. It meant I wouldn’t be going to the World Cup, but I couldn’t see myself over there anyway. I’d done two or three years and the decision felt great. I know that punditry is a huge part of the football life, but I didn’t want to do it any more. I just felt it was sucking my spirit. There was once, we were at Juventus, in Turin – they were playing Chelsea. We were standing just at the corner flag. Adrian was next to me. He goes, ‘This is great, isn’t it?’ He’s a proper