Football

Roy Keane Meets Donncha O'Callaghan To Talk Life After Football

Roy Keane Meets Donncha O'Callaghan To Talk Life After Football

Two great Cork sportsmen, Donncha O'Callaghan and Roy Keane, came face-to-face for an interview which will be broadcast by on Friday night.

In Donncha O’Callaghan: Game Over: True Lives - which airs on Virgin Media One at 10:30pm on February 1st - the former Munster and Ireland rugby player looks at how athletes deal with life after their sporting careers are over.

"Once I made the decision that I was going to stop playing, I was kind of excited," said Keane.

"I knew I was going to miss playing, that's stating the obvious; nothing would ever replace the buzz. Strangely enough, I haven't missed the game as much as I thought I would.

"You have to embrace other stuff, especially if you've had a good career. If you sit at home and worry about that, feel sorry for yourself - which is natural enough, you do wonder, 'What's next?' You have a family and I went through all that but also, you have to say, 'I have to get up off my backside.'

"I did an interview a few years ago and some guy asked me who puts my bins out. I have to put my bins out! I'm living a normal life. I’ve offered my young fella a few bob but he won’t do it.

"There's things you have to do: drive the kids to school. I'm stuck in traffic going, 'Is this what my life's about?' Well, it is! You have to sit in traffic for an hour or two like millions of other people."

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The former Ireland captain said that his initial intentions post-retirement involved spending more time with his family who had often been a secondary priority during his football career.

My plan when I first stopped was we’re going to go on some family trips, we’re going to be like The Waltons. 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 plans as me so I think they were kind of missing me going to work.

I got offered a 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!

We all know the pitfalls for ex-sportsmen, it's there for everyone to see: addictions, divorces, bankruptcy - we read about it all the time. I also had in my mindset, 'I've got to make sure I don't lose the plot here. I'm going to go out an keep myself busy.'

Keane said he still enjoys the odd bit of physical exercise but you won't be spotting him at a gym.

"I do like a routine. I like to get up early, I like to do some sort of physical exercise but I wouldn’t be going to the gym or going cycling or swimming or joining clubs or lifting weights or anything like that. I think that was great, it was part of my life and I was passionate about that but I just found passion for other things now.

"I’ve done my time. I don't do any running. I see people out cycling and I think maybe I should buy a racer. I wouldn't be into all the gear and the glasses.

"I look at people about 20 stone out cycling and say, 'What’s the point in you cycling? I still have that mindset forgetting the fact that they might be actually enjoying it!"

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The now Nottingham Forest assistant manager also spoke about leaving Manchester United in 2005.

"I was at United for 12-and-a-half years. I went into work one morning and I left half an hour later.

"One of the reasons I left so quickly when it was decided that morning that, 'Listen, we're going to part company', I wanted to get away, I didn't want to say goodbye to the lads.

"I don't remember picking up the phone or texting anyone going, 'Lads, I've got some bad news for you here.'"

See Also: Bolton Fans Angry After Ireland U18 Subbed On Championship Debut

PJ Browne
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