Ex-Man United Sports Psychologist Recalls His Harrowing First Encounter With Roy Keane

"I was shocked"

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Before he was the most committed and combative football pundit in the UK - his death stare making blood run cold up and down the country as he assesses Paul Pogba's deficient work rate, the ex-players sat by his side swallowing dryly and glancing nervously at the studio fire exit - Roy Keane was (probably) the most committed and combative player in the Premier League.

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Anyone in any doubt about that should listen to former Manchester United sports psychologist Bill Beswick, who in a recent interview with Keep It On The Deck shared this hilarious / harrowing anecdote about his first day watching the club train.

That's train, mind you.

"The first day I went to Manchester United, I was watching eight versus eight possession," recalled Beswick.

"Roy Keane - who's a warrior, not just an athlete, not just a competitor but a warrior, the mindset of a warrior - his team have got possession.

"Denis Irwin has got the ball. He's looking up, he's trapped, he's going to lose the ball.

"Roy Keane makes a beautiful run and signals 'Denis!' where he wants the ball. Denis doesn't see him, doesn't hear him, doesn't respond and loses the ball.

"Roy Keane ran 40 yards to challenge his teammate: 'Get your head up.' I was shocked."

Fergie, apparently, was delighted.

"I was stood next to Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United," Beswick added.

"He said son, 'Now you know why we win on a Saturday. We win on a Saturday because we have the mindset to train every day.'"

Never change Roy. Never change.