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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
Theatre Of Dreams  Banner's  by Sam Hayward   Download the digest program here!
The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun May 16 08:42:57 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Official Match Preview  Download Program  UNITED REVIEW 20 mins before Koff!
2. Keane fit to boost Fergie's dream 
3. Home run will give us title - Cole
4. Ferguson optimistic United can win title again  
5. A Tribute to my Heroes by S.B.Sivaganesh
6. Keane born to be a warrior - Sunday Times


Ready for the crunch! Three Matches = Three Trophies!
(Real audio files archived at http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99)

Teddy Interview today by former Spurs player Teddy May 15th
      259k   3m 49s

Players Thought before Spurs 
    Dwight Yorke Andy Cole + Nicky Butt comments
       1.48 mins  117k

Alex Ferguson on todays game
        2.19 mins   151k

 1  Manchester United    37  21  13   3  78  36   42   76
 2  Arsenal              37  21  12   4  58  17   41   75

****** Becks wonder goal *****
>URL does not exist barry !>> /mufc/sound/mov/beck_wonder.zip
 Oops fixed! sorry wrong url here are the correct ones
Choice of two
   214756 May 15 07:27

   892809 May 15 02:29 

This one is Pete Schmikes Goal in 1995!
   841007 May 15 07:26

Cheers barry
      "Here comes the PL"
         RED Barry

Daily RED Trivia  Sunday 16th May 1999:

 United draw 1-1 with Chelsea at Old Trafford in a Division 1 game watched
 by 38,109. Steve Coppell scored for the Reds. Team was: Bailey, Albiston, Houston,
 McIlroy, McQueen, Nicholl, Coppell, J.Greenhoff, Jordan, McCreery (Grimes), Thomas.

 Clayton Blackmore made his debut against Nottingham Forest. A versatile
 performer, he wore every shirt number between 2-11 in making 244 appearances
 and scoring 25 goals between 1984-94. Blackmore won an FA Cup winners medal
 in 1990, and appeared in the 1991 League Cup final, as well as winning a European
 Cup Winners Cup medal that year. He joined Middlesbrough in May 1994, and
 has won 39 Caps for Wales. 


Barry Daily Comment:
I for one will be glued to the screen in Denmark with my Man Utd Beer
We have to do it Fergie's big wish is to win the Premiership at OT.
Anyone at the Throstles Nest Pub Manchester before/after the game 
ENJOY THE ATMOSPHERE!  SING OUT FOR Manchester United Football Club"

 TODAY!  Tottenham     PL
  6 days  Newcastle     FAC
   10 days Bayern Munich CL Final

I will be leaving Denmark for Barce in 6 days time after the cup final
RED sky at night BARCE' delight
More fun here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcedance.htm

Enjoy ALL 3 CHAMPIONSHIP matches, one and ALL!
 "We haven't won anything yet," he said. "It's an opportunity that might
   not come again in a lifetime so it's one you don't want to mess up.
    We all know how much it has taken to get us near to the top of the mountain.
     We're three-quarters of the way there and now comes the final push for the
       three trophies."  ~ Dwight Yorke


Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: 

Everyone who wants the goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE!

FA Cup Semi Final Replay
14 April 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal
 Villa Park
  Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K)
Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams


Previous News:
BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:
If you would like ALL the final fixtures for
UNITED/Arse/Chelsea then go to http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm

Next Games:
16 Tottenham (H)  16.00 PL          Live on Sky Sports UK
22 FAC Final Wembley Newcastle  (N) Live on Sky Sports UK
26 European Cup Final Bayern Munich  Nou Camp 

UNITED Stats v All teams:

*** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 12/05/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    37  21  13   3  78  36   42   76
 2  Arsenal              37  21  12   4  58  17   41   75
 3  Chelsea              37  19  15   3  55  29   26   72
 4  Leeds United         37  18  12   7  60  32   28   66
 5  Aston Villa          37  15  10  12  51  45    6   55
 6  West Ham United      37  15   9  13  42  53  -11   54
 7  Derby County         37  13  13  11  39  43   -4   52
 8  Liverpool            37  14   9  14  65  49   16   51
 9  Middlesbrough        37  12  15  10  48  50   -2   51
10  Leicester City       37  12  13  12  40  45   -5   49
11  Tottenham Hotspur    37  11  14  12  46  48   -2   47
12  Newcastle United     37  11  12  14  47  53   -6   45
13  Sheffield Wednesday  37  12   7  18  40  42   -2   43
14  Everton              37  11  10  16  42  45   -3   43
15  Wimbledon            37  10  12  15  40  60  -20   42
16  Coventry City        37  11   8  18  37  49  -12   41
17  Southampton          37  10   8  19  35  64  -29   38
18  Charlton Athletic    37   8  12  17  41  55  -14   36
19  Blackburn Rovers     37   7  13  17  37  51  -14   34
20  Nottingham Forest    37   6   9  22  34  69  -35   27


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182
03/04/99    Wimbledon                Away     D  1-1     1    26,121
17/04/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home     W  3-0     1    55,270
25/04/99    Leeds United             Away     D  1-1     2    40,255
01/05/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  2-1     1    55,189
05/05/99    Liverpool                Away     D  2-2     2    44,702
09/05/99    Middlesbrough            Away     W  1-0     1    34,665
12/05/99    Blackburn                Away     D  0-0     1    30,436


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Finals 
Manchester United v Juventus  4-3agg 3-2 [1-1]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev  4-3agg 1-0 [3-3]

Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 


Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: Official Match Preview Download Program UNITED REVIEW 20 mins before Koff! Match Program is here from 15.40 http://www.manutd.com/matches/program.sps Probable teams: United: Schmeichel; Irwin, Stam, Johnsen, G Neville; Giggs, Butt (or Keane), Scholes, Beckham; Yorke, Cole. Spurs: Walker; Carr, Campbell, Edinburgh, Young; Anderton, Sherwood, Freund, Ginola; Armstrong, Iversen IT'S TOUGH AT THE TOP! It's simple. Beat Spurs and the title comes back to Old Trafford after its year's holiday in London. It won't be that easy, though, and the players know it. Tottenham are a side on the up, and are going to want to finish their season on a high. And they don't come much bigger than a win at Old Trafford. Both Alex Ferguson and George Graham have tasted title success, and they are both hungry for more. Spurs showed against Chelsea last Monday night that they are capable of playing at the highest level, and with the joint PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year, David Ginola, on board, anything is possible for George Graham's rejuvenated army. Gary Neville and Denis Irwin agree that it will be a tough game. "They're a good side with plenty of proud players. They will be coming here looking for a win," said Gary, before Denis echoed, "It will be a tough game. But if we play to our potential, I'm sure we will be celebrating come the end of the 90 minutes." To play to full potential, Fergie needs a full squad to choose from. Roy Keane and Jaap Stam are the main injury worries going into the match, but both have a fair chance of making it. Keane was jogging round the Old Trafford pitch on Thursday, and when a practice ball fell to him by accident, we all waited and wondered what would happen. Keane took the ball in his stride, and played a confident pass back to the warm-up group. Mission accomplished, but will be fit enough to face Spurs? We won't know until about 3pm on Sunday. Tottenham's deadly rivals are the team that would benefit from an upset on Sunday, but no-one expects the visitors to do United any favours to deny the Gunners. "That just doesn't happen," claimed Fergie. "We don't expect any favours from anyone, and we don't want them. We want to win on our own merits." Ryan Giggs came through the Blackburn match with no recurrence of the ankle injury that kept him out for six matches. Henning Berg aside, United are looking surprisingly fit and fresh after such a long and trying season. Peter Schmeichel is set to play his last match at Old Trafford on Sunday, and will receive a huge farewell from the fans who have seen him become the world’s best goalkeeper during his stay at United. He will wear the captain's armband if Roy Keane is not passed fit to play, and what greater honour for the player who has done more than most to make United into the European force they are today. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole are expected to carry on upfront, although Cole has begun to look jaded in the last few matches, as the toll of so many matches begins to show. Hopefully he will be able to find a hidden reserve to push him through the final stages of a gruelling season. The visiting defence has troubles of its own, with Ramon Vega already having been ruled out with an ankle injury. Mauricio Tarrico will miss out through suspension, and Justin Edinburgh will come in for the former Ipswich man. Fortunately for them, their rock at the back, Sol Campbell, continues to go from strength to strength, and will stand firm in the way of Cole and Yorke. Alongside Ginola, Anderton, Freund and Sherwood form an impressive midfield, although reports that Anderton has turned down a new contract will worry the White Hart Lane faithful. Matches between the two teams are usually evenly matched, with ten matches in the last ten years seeing the teams separated by a single goal. Two 4-1 wins, one for each side, in the last five years, are the exception that proves the rule. It's a good job that the title can only be decided on goal difference if the Reds lose by two clear goals, and Arsenal draw. And the last time United lost by two or more goals at Old Trafford was against York City in 1995. In the League, you have to go back to 1992, and the visit of Everton when the Reds went down 3-0. Even then United went on to win the title. A scoring competition between United and Arsenal is no longer on the cards! It's a massive game on so many levels - the League can be won on home turf for the first time in Fergie's reign, it's Peter Schmeichel's last game at Old Trafford, and it's the time to wish the boys luck for the two Cup finals. The atmosphere will be electric. And you can sample it by logging on to listen to our live match commentary, starting just before kick off. See you there! Probable teams: United: Schmeichel; Irwin, Stam, Johnsen, G Neville; Giggs, Butt (or Keane), Scholes, Beckham; Yorke, Cole. Spurs: Walker; Carr, Campbell, Edinburgh, Young; Anderton, Sherwood, Freund, Ginola; Armstrong, Iversen
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: Keane fit to boost Fergie's dream By Bob Cass Sunday, May 16, 1999 Roy Keane, the competitive heartbeat of Manchester United, will be back to guide Alex Ferguson's team to the first stage of an historic Treble today. When the Republic of Ireland international limped off at Middlesbrough last Sunday with a damaged ankle, there were fears he had made his last competitive appearance of the campaign. But Keane has defied the doubters and will skipper United against Tottenham at Old Trafford. A United victory will ensure they are crowned Premier League champions. United manager Ferguson describes Keane as his 'inspirational genius'. The relieved Old Trafford boss watched Keane come through a tough training session yesterday and said: 'Roy has responded well to treatment and he will play against Spurs.' The medical bulletin regarding £10million central defender Jaap Stam is not so good. The Holland international, a major influence this season following his recruitment from PSV Eindhoven, will miss the final League outing because of an achilles tendon injury. Stam's place will be taken by David May, who will renew his defensive partnership with Ronny Johnsen. Keane's absence was felt in the disappointing midweek performance against Blackburn Rovers when United failed to beat the team managed by Ferguson's former number two Brian Kidd. Now Ferguson believes Keane's return will be vital in United's quest for that priceless win over Spurs.
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: Home run will give us title - Cole Andy Cole is confident Manchester United's formidable home record will see them clinch the Premiership title tomorrow. United lead Arsenal by a point going into the final day of the season and victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford tomorrow will seal their fifth championship in seven years. Alex Ferguson's Treble-chasers have been virtually unstoppable at home and they have lost once in the past 14 months. Cole is optimistic they can continue this fine form against Spurs and relieve Arsenal of the Premier League trophy. "We're a point ahead, and it's a good thing that we've got a home game," he said. "It will be tough, but if we win the game, then we will win the title. "It was a bit disappointing that we didn't beat Blackburn on Wednesday, but they say if you win your home games, you will always have a good chance of winning the League. "We've done well in our home games so far this season, and hopefully, that will continue tomorrow against Tottenham." The Champions' League has been Ferguson's prime target since the start of the season, and only Bayern Munich stand between him and his dream of emulating Sir Matt Busby's 1968 triumph. However all he is thinking about for now is getting his hands on that silver Premier League trophy. Ferguson knows how
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: Ferguson optimistic United can win title again By Jeremy Butler BLACKBURN, England, May 12 - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said he believed his team were in the perfect position to win the English premier league title after their 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. The result meant that Blackburn, champions themselves four years ago and now managed by Ferguson's former deputy Brian Kidd, were relegated after seven years in the premier league. Wednesday's draw put United on to 76 points with one match to play, one point ahead of Arsenal who also have one match to go. And it means that if United beat Tottenham Hotspur in their last match of the season at Old Trafford on Sunday, they will win the title for the fifth time in seven seasons no matter what Arsenal do. Arsenal play Aston Villa at home on Sunday and the way the fixtures have fallen Arsenal fans are now in the virtually unprecedented position of actually wanting their arch-rivals Spurs to win on Sunday so that they can retain their hopes of retaining the title they won a year ago. But Ferguson is happy with the task United now face. "If you said at the start of the season we needed to win the last home game to take the title we would have taken it," he said. "That's the situation we are in now and we are very happy with it. Now the name of the game for us is to win on Sunday and forget about everything else." Ferguson had not realised until after the game that the draw had relegated Rovers who started the season poorly under Roy Hodgson. Kidd replaced him last December. "I didn't know they were down. I haven't spoken to Brian. I don't know what to say in these situations. Sometimes it isn't easy. "He's got a rebuilding job to do and may be that's a good thing." Kidd had attacked his players over the past few days for lacking the commitment to win the battle against relegation -- and especially for the way they played and lost 2-1 on Saturday against Nottingham Forest, who join them on the way down. Kidd, resigned to his fate, plans to use the lessons he learned under Ferguson to revitalise the club. "I have seen how the manager (Ferguson) has handled things in the past and I know what I have to do. A lot was made of this game and the fact it could be United that relegate us but it wasn't United who put us down. "It was us that put us down and that started from the first game of the season. I have no regrets about coming here and we are going to miss big premier league matches like tonight. "It is going to take more than pound notes to get us back. We need a heartbeat and a spirit back in this club and we need to develop it and build it." There were emotional scenes at the end with Jack Walker, the club's multi-millionaire benefactor -- whose millions revitalised the club in the early 1990s after years in the doldrums -- in tears as were many of the blue-and-white clad fans. In a game of few incidents Ryan Giggs came closest to scoring a winner in the 10th minute with a header that came back off the post. Blackburn came into the game more in the second half but the tempo was surprisingly slow considering there was so much at stake. Peter Schmeichel tipped a long rang David Dunn shot over the bar and with eight minutes left Ashley Ward missed Rovers' best chance of the match by shooting weakly wide after Ronny Johnsen made a mistake in his own box.
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: A Tribute to my Heroes by S.B.Sivaganesh What an end to a wonderful season today is going to be.Never has my blood pressure reached new heights in excitement than in this season alone.(My cardiologist can attest to this).Pure drama, end to end action, raw courage in the face of adversity and above all pride and honour in wearing the Red of United, filled this epic season. Come what may today, I amongst the million others will always be proud to consider myself a United supporter (albeit one who is 1000s of miles away from OT). I also believe that we may have finally won the respect of other fans as well..(then again ABU's will always be blind even when faced with brilliance).Just thought of penning a few thoughts of tribute before I embark on a marvelous nite with 2 other scarlet brethren, the Mulani Brothers, in celebration of the team that is Manchester United FC 1998/1999.. Ferguson:- Fergie for Kinighthood.The man is a tactical genius and above all, a person who has excelled in man management. How many managers would have stood by Cole all these seasons. The man shoots from the hip and speaks from his heart; told us how the Italians would come at us at San Siro, didn't he.(I've never looked at pasta the same again...) Has to now be up there with Busby, Paisley,Stein and Shankly. Schmikes:- The great Dane plays his last game today at the Theatre of Dreams. In all our seasons, he was the last line of defence that came good in most situations. I can imagine that being a Defender in front of him would fill one with confidence and a sense of security as well as a sense of dread, because if you fouled up, you're gonna get a earful from the Big Guy. We can easily forgive his occasional faux pas when we compare them with his moments of brilliance. Who could forget how he sent Bergkamp's world reeling this season with that astounding save during the FA Cup Semi-final. As a golakeeper myself, watching him play is an education each and every time. We are going to miss you , O Great Dane for you are and will always be a legend to us all. Giggs:- When injury took its toll on Giggsy last season, it really showed how much we missed the creative spark that is so vital in the game. I thought I had all but seen Giggsy array of skills when he took on the Spurs and QPR defences a couple of seasons ago with individual talent so reminiscent of Best. Then he decides to do it all again this season. Puts United back in the fight with Juve and basically takes on the England defence when he rips the Arses of the Gooners with skill so sublime that it should go down as one of the greatest goals of the decade.How we hope you outdo that other French "wing wizard" today Giggsy my boy. Cole:- I will be the first to admit that I was calling for his head a couple seasons ago when he went through his barren spell and seemed destined to be another Birtles; an expensive mistake. I now apologise and take great pleasure in having those words crammed down my throat. Before he came to United, he was an out and out striker who made the runs so that he was at the right place at the right time. Ferguson has basically shook this boy up and made him one of the mot all around players in the league. The way he contributes to the game by holding up the ball, making the killer passes on top getting the goals is astounding and his England call up was late in coming. Get one for us today Andy. Yorke, Stam and Blomqvist:- 3 new buys which gave the team so much depth and stability. Yorke has been all smiles since leaving Gregory's boys....(does he ever frown?) and has shrugged off his price tag to form one of the most lethal partnerships in England and Europe with Cole. His touches are sublime, and he is so difficult to shake off the ball. Moreover, his laid back style and attitude has been a positive influence on Cole. Stam has gone from strength to strength. ABU's were writing him off after the 1st 5 games or so. Jaap quietly went about doing the business and in my opinion is one of the best defenders around and in the mould of Baresi. His pace and presence is phenomenal (Its like a T-Rex pursing its victim in Jurassic park). Inzaghi could get around the Man. He has also stamped is authority on the pitch. I still remember Zamarano backing up into Stam. Stam just stood ther like a wall, as if to say this is my pitch and you're not going anyway. He plays the ball out of defence instead of hoofing it aimlessly and has given the Defence some new found shape. It is yet to be seen who he will be able forge a partnership with comparable to Pallister and Bruce. ( A little difficult when you have a squad rotation system such as ours). Blomqvist was here to give cover for the likes of Giggs but has gone to prove that he will be in shadow of anyone.He has also shown his defensive qualities in the game and adds to the depth of our team. A quiet season so far but one filled with greater and more valuable contribution than most people give him credit for. Becks:- What can I say that has not already been said abt him. Week after week, he takes the narrow minded abuse from fans all over England for that one moment of provoked rashness.Well he has showed these feeble minded plebians the finger by putting in a consistent performance week in week out. Undoubtedly the best crosser of the game..Yorke can attest to that and one of the most deadliest freekick specialist in the World today. If this season is anything to go by, I would have said that the boy is now a man. The rest: Irwin, May, Berg, Johnsen, Keano, Butt, Scholes,Sheringham,the Nevs,Solksjear, Wes, Curtis,Raimond, - basically have embodied the Red Spirit and pushed on proudly. Everyone has contributed to the Red cause and we hold all of you proudly in our hearts. Said my piece, now I get ready for History today. S.B.Sivaganesh E-mail: cantona7@singnet.com.sg Webpage: http://web.singnet.com.sg/~cantona7/
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

Subject: Keane born to be a warrior - Sunday Times They took the boy Roy out of Cork, but they didn't take Cork out of the boy, says David Walsh This afternoon, the main bar at the Templeacre Tavern on Cork's north side will fill around midday. In their Sunday clothes, the mostly middle-aged and older men come for an experience every bit as religious as the mass they will have been to this morning. They'll sit and watch Manchester United play for the championship and feel again the thrill of watching their boy lead the charge. Proclamations of their devotion to Roy Keane hang on every wall. High above the main bar a photograph of Keane is pinned alongside a framed print of Christy Ring, the greatest hurler of all. In Cork there is no higher praise. To the right of the big screen hangs a framed United jersey worn by Keane, on another wall his Irish international jersey. And there is the corner they call "the parlour". On important evenings for Manchester United, you might find Roy's father and brothers in that corner. The parlour is a shrine to the footballers of Temple United, the local club for which Keane's brothers have played. During his summer break, Roy himself will be back, sitting in that corner, calling his round like everyone else, encouraging the singers to get something going, and reminding his old cronies that while everything has changed, nothing has changed. In the Templeacre nobody bothers him. On the day in 1993 that Alex Ferguson paid Nottingham Forest £3.75m for his services, Keane sat with his brothers in the parlour like any other customer, happy to separate himself from the brouhaha. Formerly the bar manager at the Templeacre, Tony Maher makes an annual trip to Old Trafford: "We ring Roy in advance, tell him we intend coming and need tickets for, say, the Liverpool match. 'Jaysus, lads, could you not pick a match where there would more of a demand?' he'll say. We know it's not easy for him but, in the end, he'll just ask: 'How many?' 'Forty,' we say. He'll meet us at the airport, give our tickets, and there will be a match organised against a local team. Roy always comes to watch us play and looks after us fierce well. He's never forgotten where he's come from." Nor have they. It is Thursday evening in the Metropole Hotel on MacCurtain Street. Timmy Murphy takes a seat at the bar and orders a pint of stout. Back in the 1980s, Murphy managed the Rockmount boys team, the greatest schoolboy team Cork has ever seen. "See this," he says, taking an old photograph from his inside pocket, "this was the Rockmount under-11s, and Roy Keane's first ever trophy in football." Keane is at the back, by far the smallest of the team, and he holds the statuette as if it were a dead fish. As if he already knew more important battles were to come. But the expression on his face is unmistakable; no smile, only the warrior's hardness. That young side became a dominant force in Cork, winning the League and Cup double for six consecutive seasons. Five of the team would play age-group football for Ireland and most would get trials with English clubs. But deterred by his lack of physique and volatile temperament, the scouts passed on Keane. Timmy Murphy sensed they were missing the point. "We really had some smashing players in that side," he says, "but Roy Keane had attitude. He wanted to get on and wanted to do whatever had to be done." To practise his heading, Keane hung a football from a clothes line at his home in Lotamore Park. He got summer work in an off-licence so he could strengthen himself by lifting crates of beer. Then there was his almost manic desire on the pitch. "I used to call him the Boiler Man," says Murphy. "You know, the fellow who mans the furnace, who gets things heated up and keeps them that way. He was the motivator, the leader. "When things were going bad for Rockmount, all you had to do was roar at Roy. He would do the rest." With Keane, it was never just words. "He was fiery alright," says Murphy. "I was having a laugh with Roy about that a few weeks ago. He was saying 'Was I always this kind of player?' and I said, 'Yeah, you sure were'." From that fine Rockmount team, Alan O'Sullivan signed for Luton Town, Paul McCarthy went to Brighton and Keane yearned for a trial. So desperate was he that he wrote to English clubs asking for one but, when scouts watched, they reported he wasn't big enough. At 17, he joined League of Ireland club Cobh Ramblers. Seven months later he was on his way to Nottingham Forest. Noel McCabe, a Dublin-based scout, watched Keane play for Cobh in an FAI Youths Cup game and decided he had seen something unusual. For his fine book The Garrison Game, Dave Hannigan interviewed McCabe, who recalled his first meeting with Keane: "The boy wanted to be a footballer so bad. He was so eager and enthusiastic that I felt here was a boy who would swim to England if I asked him to." Whatever Forest offered, Keane was prepared to accept: "I was desperate. I was thinking, 'Well, I'm 18 now, so if Forest don't take me, this is probably going to be it'." On his frequent trips back to Cork Keane would tell people that it was grand playing for Forest. Brian Clough just told him to go out and "get the ball and give it to my Nigel". Being in Forest's first team moved Keane into a world for which he was unprepared. His aggression and short temper got him in trouble on the field; his naivety and immaturity led to problems off it. Nothing that threatened self-destruction, but sufficient for Keane to be dismissed as another badly-behaved footballer. That was then. Keane is now married to Theresa, has three children and a more mature attitude. Even so, he is reluctant to speak of a transformation: "People always ask if I've settled down and I'm afraid to say 'yes' because, as soon as I say that, I go off and do something stupid." The perception of Keane as a wild boy presented a stereotype that didn't stack with those who knew him. David O'Leary remembers a conversation from their early days in the Irish squad. "One day Roy came up to me and said: 'Dave, who looks after your affairs?' I wasn't sure why he was asking me, maybe because I had been around for a while. I said, 'Roy, he's a solicitor called Michael Kennedy and if you get him looking after you, it'll be the best move you'll ever make.' Everything Roy has done since then has been in close consultation with Michael. Roy doesn't breathe without Michael knowing about it, and it has worked out well." Back in Cork, those who knew Keane never thought much of the popular perceptions. He came home in the early years with his red Mercedes and a ROY 1 vanity numberplate and, sure, they thought that a bit much. A year later they noticed the car and the fancy plate had been replaced. John Delea has been a Rockmount man all his life and is now the chairman of Keane's old club. "I've been going over to England to see Roy play for years. I'd often go with Roy's uncle, Michael Lynch, Jamesie Corcoran, Billy Cronin and Declan Courtney. In those early years Roy would put us up at his house in Manchester. I had my own bedroom, my own key to the house and this went on for two or three years, until Roy and Theresa had their second child. I had to give my bedroom to the new arrival, which I suppose was fair enough. "Every year it just gets better and better with Roy. He collects us at the airport, brings us to the hotel he has booked for us, gets us tickets for the game, tickets for the players' lounge afterwards, and I have a photo of myself with every Man United player. After the players' bar we'd go back to Roy's house for something to eat and then down to the local with him for a drink on Saturday night. "Sunday morning, he would be outside the hotel, waiting to bring me down to United's training at the Cliff. I'd stay in his jeep and watch from there. One morning he brought over Alex Ferguson to meet me, another morning Eric Cantona. "On the Monday he would take us to the finest eating house in Manchester, and without any flashness, none of this 'I'm Roy Keane, I have a table booked'. Nothing like that at all, we go there quietly, everything has been pre-booked and paid for in advance by Roy. We have a lovely lunch and he drops us back to the airport. Unbelievable what he does for us. When I go back to the brewery where I work, the people there just don't believe me." Last season Delea and the men travelled over for a United v Liverpool game. Keane offered the usual chauffeuring service and, on the Monday, as he loaded their bags into the back of his jeep, he slipped a piece of paper into Delea's hand. "Somethin' small for the club," he said quietly. At the airport, the Rockmount chairman had a look: it was a cheque for £5,000. Keane will not like his decency being publicly lauded because, for him, that creates an impression of a "goody-two shoes", something he has energetically managed to avoid up to now. Last Wednesday Roy's mother, Marie, stopped by at Delea's house. She had a message from her son for the Rockmount chairman. The white envelope simply said: "John Delea". Inside were two tickets for the FA Cup final. Delea had half-expected them. "When Roy got to his first Wembley final, in 1991, he sent the club two tickets to be raffled among the members. We made £1,000 out of the draw. Every time since then he has done exactly the same; one year United got to the League Cup final and the FA Cup final and we did fierce well. Roy just does it automatically now. "I think so much of the man that it's got to the stage where I don't like to go to a pub to watch United play anymore. I'd be afraid some Corkman will be cheering for the other team, an anti-Man United fellow, and, knowing what I know, I'll just get drawn into a row." Manchester United - The Legend - http://manunited.net
Your editor Barry Leeming say's "NOW FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE!"

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