I should have retired the day I left Man Utd. A specialist told me I cause more damage if I keep playing, reveals Roy Keane

ROY KEANE believes he should have retired after leaving Manchester United.

Instead, the Red Devils legend moved to Celtic before being forced to retire due to injury six months later.

Roy Keane thinks he should have retired after leaving Manchester United


Roy Keane thinks he should have retired after leaving Manchester UnitedPhoto credit: Getty

Keane revealed how he overcame the pain barrier at Celtic Park and only had to take painkillers for training.

Due to injury problems, the midfielder only made 13 appearances for Celtic before hanging up his boots.

He said Sky Bet’s Stick with football: “I should have retired when I left Manchester United, the day I left the club.

“After that I even lost the love of the game a little, I left United and went to Celtic, my hip was on me, painkillers for training, I tore my hamstring two or three times, commuting and thinking , I would be 34 now.” .

“My contract runs for another year [at Celtic] and I went to the hip specialist and they said the longer I play the worse the damage is.

“The nice thing is that when I called Gordon Strachan I told him I was done. I lost sleep before I called him, but as soon as I hung up the phone I had the conclusion of my career, no hesitation, it was ‘It’s not a relief, but something was taken from me.’

Keane has had, among other things, injury problems throughout his career the anterior cruciate ligament tears in 1997.

Additionally, a hip problem in 2002 kept him out for months, ultimately leading to his retirement.


Gary Neville, who starred alongside Keane in Stick to Football, also admitted he should have retired earlier.

The pundit said: “I got injured in 2007 and missed the entire 2008 Champions League season – that wasn’t the time I felt like I was giving up because I was still 33, but the time that I came back to” after eight months and felt like the game had moved on.

“The injury was to the ankle, I was out for eight months and had a lot of problems with that, but then I also started pulling my calves and I was given injections that felt like oil.

“When I came back, every season I thought I was going to retire, but they just offered me another year. I retired at Christmas of the 2010/11 season and I definitely should have retired the year before, I knew I was gone.”

John Verrall

John Verrall is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: johnverrall@nytimas.com.

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