Roy Keane claims he didn't lose "a wink's sleep" over what happened in Saipan

The Old Trafford legend was talking at a charity event in Armagh, and covered what happened in Saipan, as well as the end of his time at Manchester United.

Roy Keane claims he didn't lose "a wink's sleep" over what happened in Saipan

©INPHO/Gwendoline Le Goff

It can sometimes be difficult to get to the real Roy Keane, but when he decides to open up, his expressiveness can command a room.

That's what happened at a charity event in Armagh last night when the former Irish and Man United midfielder spoke candidly, and sometimes pragmatically, about some of his career defining moments.

He began by recounting his days growing up in Cork where his competitive nature was moulded. In both of Keane's books he revealed that he chose to play for Rockmount AFC over his local side Mayfield, forgoing convenience and local loyalty in order to maximise his chances of winning.

"Maybe even as a young kid I took sport too seriously," said Keane. "From eight years of age I was very driven which helped me a lot later in my career, but really when you are eight, nine, 10 years of age you should be trying to enjoy the game. At that age I was all about winning". 

Referring to the events that took place in Saipan in advance of the 2002 World Cup, Keane reiterated his belief that he made the right choice to leave the set-up and return to Ireland. He also defended the stance he took in the confrontation with then manager Mick McCarthy, saying "I didn't lose a wink's sleep over it".

Keane's time at Manchester United ended in explosive circumstances in 2005. In his book The Second Half, Keane wrote that Alex Ferguson called him into his office and informed him that they were ''tearing up his contract,'' which was the moment it ended for him.

''Leaving United is no sob story. It's just part of life. You come to the end of working with somebody. I definitely think United treated me badly at the end because I didn't do anything wrong. When I left United that day my love for the game changed a bit. I was badly hurting. When I went home that day I probably should have retired."