• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Jimmy Bullard's Book Has Some Juicy Stories From Roy Keane's Ipswich Days

Jimmy Bullard's Book Has Some Juicy Stories From Roy Keane's Ipswich Days

Jimmy Bullard's Book Has Some Juicy Stories From Roy Keane's Ipswich Days
By PJ Browne
Share this article

Jimmy Bullard's book 'Bend It Like Bullard' has just come out and in it are some stories from Roy Keane's Ipswich days. It includes one tale about Roy launching into a tactics board with a two-footed tackle and another about a drugs tester.

Bullard didn't actually play under Keane at Portman Road, he arrived shortly after under the Irishman's replacement, Paul Jewell. That's probably a good thing for Bullard, the two do not strike me as compatible personality-wise.

The midfielder says that when he first arrived it was obvious that Keane had "scared the living shit out of those boys [the players]" and that he had "ruled with fear and an iron fist". He also portrays himself as somewhat as a saviour from a "full-blown nutcase [Keane]" and describes himself as their "football shrink".


In a story that sounds remarkably similar to one which Dwight Yorke told about Keane during his Sunderland days, Bullard recounts an anecdote told to him by his new Ipswich teammates about Roy and a tactics board.

Once, after a match they'd lost, Keane had the whole team sitting in the dressing room and he was talking to them while doing his tie up in the mirror.

'Tactics,' he said. 'Everyone goes on about formation and tactics.'

He turned round for a moment, pointed to the tactics board in the changing room and asked one of his coaches to set it up, before continuing his rant about tactics while fiddling with his tie in the mirror.

After a minute, with absolutely no warning, he turned around from the mirror and launched himself two-footed into the tactics board, smashing it to pieces as his stunned team looked on with mouths wide open.

'That's what tactics mean.' he said, surveying the wreckage of the board. 'Fuck all in this game.'

It is possible that Bullard mixed that story up with the one from Keane's time as Sunderland manager, there were a few former Sunderland players with Ipswich at the time. It's also possible that Roy has smashed up multiple tactics boards in his managerial career.


The other episode which features is one told to Bullard by Irish international and current Crystal Palace player, Damien Delaney.

But, by far my favourite Keane story was told to me by my new teammate Damien Delaney.

Unsurprisingly, it came after another defeat when the gaffer was going off on one in the dressing room. This was all taking place in front of an old boy, who was stood at the door because he had to keep an eye on one of the players who was supposed to be doing a drugs test after the game,

When the drugs boys come along after the match, they have to stick with you until you can piss for them - which is why they're known as the 'piss fellas'.

So Keane was ranting and raving when he turned to one player and said, 'And you, if you carry one like that...' - he turned and pointed to the old piss fella at the door - '...you'll be taking the piss for the rest of your life like him!'

The place erupted. Even the innocent piss fella could escape the fury of that man.

Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com