Keane’s life off-screen: Super Bowl, Ali’s autograph and unlikely Instagram icon

Manchester United legend Roy Keane has become almost as famous for his no-nonsense punditry as he was for his hardman playing style back in the day.

The former Republic of Ireland midfielder turned 50 last month, and is a huge hit with Sky Sports viewers – especially those who enjoy his hilarious on-screen chemistry with Micah Richards.

But when he's not berating modern-day stars for embracing rival players, or ripping into Richards or his ex-team-mate Gary Neville, Keane has a softer side.

The father of five shares his life with wife Theresa, who he described as his "rock", while he is also a grandad.

He enjoys walking his dogs, has been seen doing a spot of gardening, and even recently surprised fans when he set up an Instagram page which he runs with his youngest daughter.

Here, Daily Star Sport takes a closer look into the off-screen life of the Treble winner and seven-time Premier League champion.

'Best days of our lives'

Keane recently reminisced with Neville about the drinking culture in his playing days at Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland.

He said while he doesn't drink alcohol any more, he's "still good fun now when I go out sober!"

But he described the 1990s as "the best days of our lives" as he spoke to Neville on The Overlap.

Neville said when he joined United's first team, players would go out on a Wednesday night and a Saturday night after the games.

"We were all doing it," Keane replied. "Alex Ferguson pulled me in many times and said 'how many drinks did you have?'.

"And obviously I'd lie to him and say maybe like, 10 or 11 bottles, and he'd say '10 or 11 bottles?' and I was thinking 'if I told him the truth… that was every hour!

"They were the best days of our lives. Young players, playing for Manchester United and winning trophies."

While Keane admitted it would be frowned on nowadays, Keane said going out on the lash actually helped him become a winner.

"What helped me a little bit is, I'd have guilt for going out," he said. "So I'd be thinking on Saturday, 'we'd better win, because if the manager funds out, you're in trouble – so we had to win matches and trophies to justify the life we were living."

He added: "I think I'm good fun now when I go out sober! I think I have a good craic now as much as I did.

"When I used to go out with Ireland or at United people used to say 'he's a lunatic when he's out drinking, he's a timebomb'.

"But when I stopped drinking, people used to go 'he's a loner, he doesn't want to mix with anybody!' You can't win."

Finding love with his 'rock'

Keane has spoken of how he found the love of his life when he met Theresa, who he would go on to marry.

The couple have been husband and wife for 20 years, and have five children together – Shannon, Caragh, Aidan, Leah, and Alanna.

But when they met in 1992 it was far from a whirlwind romance, with Theresa at first unimpressed by the then Nottingham Forest player.

"I spotted a beautiful girl in a club in town," Keane previously said, quoted by The Mirror. "Her name was Theresa Doyle but she blanked me.

"She was in a steady relationship and didn't seem at all impressed by Roy Keane, the great footballer. In fact, I think my reputation was as a downer for all kinds of reasons.

"From time to time we ran into each other around Nottingham. I knew some of her friends, who told me Theresa was a dentist's assistant. Eventually, after her relationship broke up, she relented and we went out together. I was in love."

In an interview with The Sunday Times in the early 2000s, Keane said of Theresa: “I don’t really mention her in public, but in fairness to her, she has been a rock in my life. Just brilliant. She reads me better than I read myself.

“I wouldn’t say Theresa likes every part of the package. She knows I haven’t got a halo over my head. Actually, that’s what she likes about me. She also knows I am not the nastiest person in the world.”

Family guy

Keane wrote in his autobiography that after winning the Champions League with United in 1999, rather than celebrate with his team-mates he just "longed to go home to Theresa and the kids".

Keane about hoping to spend more time with his wife and kids after hanging up his boots – but joked that they wanted him to get back to work after just two months.

“My plan when I first stopped was, we’re going to go on some family trips, we’re going to be like the Waltons.

“We’re all going to spend time together, go walk in the park and after a month or two they didn’t have the same plan as me so I think they were kind of missing me going to work.

“I got offered the job at Sunderland and I was away on a family holiday and my family were looking at me… not saying it directly but going 'we kind of enjoy your company but not too much of it' so when the job came back up they were saying 'you should go for it'.”

Hankering to be a manager again

Keane has been out of management for a decade after being sacked by Ipswich, although has had spells as a No2 with Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and the Republic of Ireland.

But he led to Sunderland to promotion in his first campaign as a manager – and insists he still believes he could do a good job.

In his interview with Neville, he admitted he'd had interview with a Championship club earlier this year, adding: "I am pretty content in what I am doing at the moment but I have my days where I get restless like everyone else.

"I think I want to be careful what I wish for – I ask myself do I want to get back into management but realistically where am I going to go back into? The Championship? The top of League One?'.

"It's not easy but there is something in there that makes me think I could be a good manager. That's what's pulling me to make me go back in."

He added: "I had talks with a Championship club maybe about 3 month ago. It was very casual, it was at house with the chairman.

"People think I’m probably not up to it. They see me on the television and that he’s a bit of a head case because I felt out with McCarthy, Ferguson and they think he’s trouble. But I don’t think I am."

Passions away from the game

Asked by Neville what are his passions away from football, Keane simply replied: "Family, dogs – that's it."

But when he thought about it some more, he added: "When you say passion, I love watching other sports. I've been to the last couple of Super Bowls.

"I wouldn't go out on a Saturday night but I'd go into maybe Altrincham at 6'o'clock for tea, just for a bit of privacy."

But one thing Keane doesn't have a passion for is fans asking him for a selfie.

"Being in the public eye, I detest it, I hate it,” Keane told Neville.

“There's nothing worse than people coming up to you but listen, people can be polite too. However, sticking a phone into your face or following you with a camera is not on.

“If you said no to their request, people would then think you're rude. I'd be going, 'I'm the rude one?!?! You're coming up to me with a phone?'

"There are really good fans – I bumped into a United fan who showed me his tattoo and he just said, 'alright' and walked on. I was thinking, that's a proper fan".

The Muhammad Ali autograph that never was

Keane considered breaking his own rule, as he recalled with Neville the time United's players were at an event with boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

“That would have been the ideal situation, if I was going to go for anybody," Keane said.

“But when all the lads went over I thought ‘Nah leave him alone,’ and I’m glad I did.”

Instagram Influencer

Despite his disdain for selfies, Keane surprised fans earlier this year when he launched his own Instagram page – with the help of his youngest daughter Alanna.

On the page, his 1.7million followers can see snaps of his family life, classic pics from his playing days, and even Keane watering his plants.

He joked: "People have said to me, 'Who is your team? Where is your team based?' And I went, 'where is my team? As if I have a team!

"It's me and my 16-year-old daughter. She is the chief executive.

"We say manage it… f**king hell I mean we say can we do a picture and we do a picture, is that managing it?"

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