Roy Keane is one of the most interesting characters in football. We all know the type of personality that Keane possessed during his time with Manchester United and Ireland, one that carries over to the present day.
Was it always that way? In a sense, but Keane also had his moments during his early playing days.
He joined Nottingham Forest as an 18-year old, leaving home for the first time after signing from Cobh Ramblers. The Irishman's impact at the club was almost immediate, quickly establishing himself as a key member of the first team.
However, he also had a few run-ins with manager Brian Clough in those early days. Many of them revolved around Keane's fondness of a night out.
In an excellent piece in The Athletic, Keane's former teammate Brian Laws revealed how things became physical between the pair after the midfielder and a number of other players had broken a curfew on a night out the previous evening.
Roy was getting a bit cocky; he came back a little bit chirpy. Cloughie was in the foyer of the hotel, waiting. He wanted to bring him down a peg or two.
So he gave him a punch and then sent him home. To be fair to Roy, he took it. He didn’t fight back. He respected him, it was like his dad had given him a bit of a hiding.
He stepped out of line, went too far and got himself a clip around the ear for it. I think he understood that he deserved it.”
He was just a young lad, doing what young lads do. He had come over from Ireland to a big city, with a lot of bright lights, a lot of nice bars and a lot of potential distractions for a young man.
I was not in his social circle and part of me was pleased that I was not… because I am not sure I would have kept up.
But he is not the character that people believe him to be. He did enjoy a night out but the rise from this young lad who turned up out of nowhere to being such an important, integral player in the Forest side was meteoric.
He would not have done that without the right character.
The article also recalls another incident in which Clough punched Keane in the dressing room after a sloppy pass against Crystal Palace.
Despite this, the Cork man loved working under the European Cup winning boss. Speaking on The Late Late Show last year, he said he had nothing but respect for Clough despite his rougher side.
He had that other side to him but I'd defend him to the hilt...
But I never held that against him, I just thought he was a manager.
He's under pressure, he made a mistake. But if it happened now I think there'd be uproar.
But at the time I just thought it was all part of me learning my trade. He made a mistake but I never held it against him.
You can read the piece in The Athletic in full here.