Former Manchester United and Ireland captain, Roy Keane said that he and his family have received death threats that were taken “seriously” by gardaí and police in Britain.
Speaking in an interview with The Sunday Times, Keane said the first credible threat was ahead of a book tour following the publication of his autobiography in 2002.
“The police got in touch and said there was one venue I should not do,” he said.
“They got a coded message with a death threat that they were taking seriously. Much more recently, when I was assistant to Martin O’Neill and away with the Ireland team, the Manchester police turned up at my home and told [Keane’s wife] Theresa and the kids they had received a threat to the family’s safety.”
Keane said the police told them the threat was being taken very seriously. “They told the kids not to leave the house on their own and that we should all change our routines,” he said.
He recently clashed with a spectator outside Old Trafford, a confrontation captured on video and posted on social media. Keane said it arose after he was asked to sign two jerseys by a “dealer” in sports memorabilia.
“I’m signing these jerseys for the guy, and I’m saying I don’t want to be here all day, and this other guy is pissed so he calls me a prick,”
Keane said. “He’s doesn’t see that I’m just having fun with the dealer. I wasn’t going to stand there under the tunnel at Old Trafford and explain, ‘Do you know what, you got the wrong end of the stick.’ I just said, ‘Look, you’ve had a few drinks,’ and that was me being unbelievably mature, which is unlike me.”
Keane said people described him as “angry” on social media, but he wasn’t. “That was a normal chat with a punter who’s annoying me. That was nothing. That kind of incident, I have the potential for 50 of them a day.”
He now takes measures to avoid being recognised in public, such as wearing a hat, scarf and facemask. He also goes out for dinner early and eats with his back to other diners.