Roy Keane lifts lid on Manchester United punch up with Peter Schmeichel as boozy row erupted in hotel


Roy Keane has lifted the lid on a hotel fight with Peter Schmeichel that left the legendary Manchester United keeper with a black eye.

And he admits boss Sir Alex Ferguson was left less than impressed – after legend Bobby Charlton shopped them.

Keane and Schmeichel formed a key part of Ferguson’s formidable United side but they were never the best of pals at Old Trafford.

Two of the leaders in the dressing room, their personalities often clashed and Keane remembers one night when it all came to a head after a late night drinking session.

He told our sister title The Mirror: “When I was injured and I came back Peter didn’t want to give me the captaincy so there was a bit of tension between us.

“Good stress. We don’t like each other but I’m glad you’re my goalkeeper, you know what I mean?

“We were on pre-season, drinking as usual until three or four in the morning. I said something to Peter and he was waiting for me outside the room.

“I went back to Nicky Butt’s room for a club sandwich, really exciting stuff. There was no women or heroin, it was a club sandwich.

“I came out of the room and Peter’s waiting and he says ‘I’ve had enough of you!’ I remember I was coming round and I was thinking ‘you’ve had enough of me? Let’s get it on’.

“Obviously we had to fight. It seemed like ages, but I’m guessing it was like two or three minutes.”

In a tale that takes more twists and turns than your average roller-coaster, Keane reveals that word of the scrap got back to Ferguson – through an unlikely source.

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He went on: “The next morning, I’m rooming with Dennis Irwin, and this is the funny bit because we’re late for the bus.

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“Dennis Irwin is the most straight guy, I remember he still goes to Mass every Sunday, so straight.

“Dennis is going ‘Roy, we’re late’ and I’m saying ‘Dennis, f*****g shut up will you. You’re giving me a headache. We’re getting our bags ready, he’s shouting at me and my hand was really sore.

“I said to Dennis, ‘I’m sure I was fighting last night, but I can’t remember’.

“We get on the bus and Ferguson’s going mad. I get to the back of the bus and ask Nicky Butt what happened. I say ‘I vaguely remember, was I fighting with Peter?’ And Peter had glasses on and this is early in the morning.

“We land and there’s a press conference. Two players had to do it and it was me and Peter.

“Eventually Peter takes his glasses off and he’s got a bit of a black eye.

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“Ferguson pulled us when we got back to Manchester; he was mad and said ‘the two of you are a disgrace to the club and you’re going to get fined’.

“He says Sir Bobby Charlton was on the same floor as us and said we were a disgrace. I was thinking ‘he could have broke the fight up!'”

However, Keane, who recently snubbed a return to management with Sunderland, stressed: “Honestly, we had a great dressing room. Peter’s held his hand up since, again it was a late night believe it or not.

“It’s never over breakfast is it?

“To be fair to Peter, I’ll give him a little bit of credit, he said ‘gaffer, gaffer, it was my fault, I was waiting for him’. So he took the fall for it and after that we were okay.

“It was good to get rid of that tension between us. It was a good fight.”




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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