Inside the life of Man Utd legend Roy Keane – from 20-year marriage to Theresa to his controversial playing career

ON the pitch, he was the enforcer at Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Celtic

Off it, he's a milder family man, loyal husband of wife of 20-years Theresa, father of five kids and a generous son.

In recent years, Roy Keane, 49, has reinvented himself as a TV pundit on Sky Sports – championed for his sharp analysis, rapport with Micah Richards and wicked sense of humour.

He has now thrown his hat into the ring for the vacant Celtic manager's job, and is one of the hot favourites for the role.

But, away from football, the Ireland legend lives a very private life.


Last month Keane surprised us all when he set up an Instagram page, where he's uploaded pictures of his family, including his grandchildren.

Still missing from it, though, is his wife of 20-years, Theresa Doyle.

The pair met in 1992, when the midfielder was playing for Forest under Brian Clough.

"I spotted a beautiful girl in a club in town. Her name was Theresa Doyle but she blanked me," Keane once revealed of his encounter with the Nottingham-born beauty.

"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."

They got married in a private ceremony at the Church of Our Lady Crowned in Mayfield, Cork, where Keane is from.

Keane rarely mentions his wife in public, but once opened up about their relationship in a revealing interview with the Sunday Times in the early 2000s.

"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," Keanesaid.

"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."


Keane and Theresa have five children together, Shannon, Caragh, Aidan, Leah and Alanna.

Even though the former footballer has tasted plenty of success on the football pitch, nothing comes close to spending time with his family.

In his autobiography, when writing about winning the Champions League in 1999, Keane said he "longed to go home to Theresa and the kids" and wasn't interested in celebrating with his team-mates.

However, despite his wish to spend more time with them after hanging up his boots, he previously admitted 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," Keane joked.

"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."


Roy's late father Maurice 'Mossie' Keane met his mum Marie at a local dance, and they married in 1963.

They moved to the Mayfield suburb in Cork, where they raised five children, Denis, Johnson, Hilary, Roy and Pat.

Keane always shared a close bond with his parents and regularly made sure they had tickets to watch his games at Forest and United.

The generous son also bought them a home in the countryside in nearby Rathpeacon.

In 2019, Keane was devastated when his Maurice passed away after battling illness. He was 79.


When Keane was a schoolboy, he began playing football for local side Rockmount AFC.

From there, he moved to Irish First Division team Cobh Ramblers of County Cork in 1989.

Keane was spotted by ex-scout Noel McCabe, who immediately recommended the talent to Brian Clough.

After impressing on a trial, he moved to Nottingham in 1990 and blossomed into one of the best young midfielders in the country.

Sir Alex Ferguson brought Keane to Manchester United in 1993 for a British transfer record fee of £3.75million.

Keane went on to become one of the Premier League giants' greatest captains – winning seven Premier League titles, a Champions League, as well as four FA Cups.

He retired in 2006, after one season in Scotland at Celtic where he played 10 times.


Keane's career has been rocked by scandal over the years.

But nothing hurt more than missing the greatest football competition in the world in 2002.

Keane played 65 times for Ireland between 1991-2005, but his international career is unfortunately remembered for his fallout with Mick McCarthy before the 2002 World Cup.

Keane wasn't happy with the Irish team's set-up ahead of the prestigious football tournament and left the training camp.

After a confrontation with McCarthy at the team hotel, he flew home and was famously quizzed by reporters about his acrimonious exit while walking his dog near his home.

Without him, Ireland managed to reach the last-16 before they were beaten by Spain on penalties.


Now linked with Celtic, Keane has had previous experience managing a club – all with varied success.

His first job at Sunderland was actually a success in the light of day. He took over the Mackems in 2006 when they second bottom of the Championship.

In his first season, they managed to win the league and gain promotion. But he stood down from his post before Christmas – with Sunderland struggling in 18th position in the Premier League.

Then came a spell at Ipswich, where he failed in a promotion bid and was sacked in 2011.

Keane returned to the international fold as assistant manager to Martin O'Neill, and was a key member of the coaching set-up that saw Ireland qualify Euro 2016.

O'Neill and Keane left their jobs after a series of inconsistent results left their jobs hanging by a thread – and reunited briefly at Forest in 2019.

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