ROY Keane has admitted he wishes he had never apologised to Sir Alex Ferguson following his departure from Manchester United.
In a series of controversial claims published in an updated version of his autobiography, Keane revealed he was close to physical confrontation with Carlos Queiroz when the then-United assistant manager questioned his loyalty.
For the first time, ex-United captain Keane has also detailed an incident where he headbutted Peter Schmeichel during a pre-season tour of Hong Kong in 1998, giving the Danish goalkeeper a black eye after an alcohol-fuelled fight “refereed” by Nicky Butt.
Former midfielder Keane also wrote that he told Ferguson “we need f****** more from you” during what he thought was a decline in the quality of players United were attracting to the club when Chelsea enjoyed success under Jose Mourinho between 2004 and 2007.
Keane, who is now the assistant manager to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa, writes that he has many regrets in his life but the career-ending tackle on ex-Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Haaland in 2001 is not one of them.
Additionally, Keane revealed that John O’Shea had “dizzy spells” which required treatment from the club doctor after being terrorised by the dazzling skills of Sporting Lisbon’s Cristiano Ronaldo prior to the Portuguese winger’s move to the Premier League.
In the book entitled The Second Half, which is on sale this week, the 43-year-old spoke of the infamous pizza-throwing episode in the tunnel at Old Trafford before a 2004 Premier League clash with Arsenal and his ongoing feud with former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira.
He also sensationally claims that he would never miss a drugs test like Rio Ferdinand – who was banned for eight months in 2003 – and that Manchester United suffered as a result.
Keane was told personally by Ferguson “we’re tearing up your contract” and had offers from Juventus and Bayern Munich prior to his departure in November 2005, the Irishman explains.
He added that an interview with MUTV in which he heavily criticised team-mates after a 4-1 defeat by Middlesbrough – and was subsequently fined £5,000 for – as well as a training ground bust-up with Ferguson and Quieroz had hastened his United exit.
Last year, when launching his own autobiography, Ferguson stated Keane had ‘overstepped the mark’ in the aforementioned interview in which he accused Kieran Richardson of being ‘a lazy defender’.
Keane said he “cried for about two minutes in the car” when he left the club and described a pre-season camp in the Algarve where he almost came to blows with Queiroz, saying the Portuguese coach was guilty of mistreating him during training sessions.