Speaking to Argentinian TV, former Man Utd defender Gabriel Heinze recounted how he was on the receiving end of a knockout blow from Roy Keane. The two were teammates for 18 months at Old Trafford before the Corkman departed in November 2005.
After a Man Utd defeat, Heinze, whose English was poor at the time, heard his name uttered by Keane in the dressing room followed by 'fuck off'. Though he did not fully understand what had been said, Heinze knew he had to stand up for himself.
We lost a game and I went in the dressing room first and Roy Keane was second. I liked to go first after the game; I didn't want to speak to anyone as we lost.
I didn't understand English, just the bad words. I heard my name and "fuck off" by Roy Keane, the best player.
I knew that was bad so I stood up to him, this idol of Manchester, this great guy who everyone loved, and replied: "Fuck off, you". I don't remember what happened next.
Asked if he had been knocked out by Keane, Henze simply responded:
Keane had experience when it came to punches being thrown in dressing rooms. He was famously on the end of one from Brian Clough while playing for Nottingham Forest. Clough had been angered after an under-hit back pass from Keane cost Forest a goal in an FA Cup game against Crystal Palace. So shocked was Keane by the punch, he later said that he didn't head out on the town after the game.
In his autobiography 'The Second Half', Keane called Heinze a 'nasty fucker'.
He was a nasty fucker – nasty in training.
We were playing Spurs at home the next day, and we'd always have light training the day before a home game. But it got a bit nasty and it ended up with myself and Gabby having a few tackles on each other.
He kneed me on the side of my leg and, being the hero that I am, I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to go in for treatment, but I was in agony.