Oh, Roy. The light of our lives. The angry man of our dreams. So righteous and full of fury. So ridey without us knowing why. Our feelings for you are so confusing. You’re a footballer and they are all dumb shit morons we usually hate but not you. NEVER YOU. YOU are different.
Here at Scarlet Brigade we have long swooned over your surly demeanor, menacing stare and way with words. The crueler you are, the more you express your vitriolic disdain for all things, the more you just envelope us in your hate, the MORE we love you. I can’t explain it Roy, I really can’t. There’s just SOMETHING about you!!! This love for you has lasted through the years. It has spanned Man United and Saipan, fights with Ferguson and a truce with Niall Quinn, glory days at Sunderland and a spell at Ipswich that we’d all rather just pretend never happened, thanks. We’ve had two autobiographies where we delved deeper into your slightly disturbing psyche – where everyone around you is an incompetent idiot until proven otherwise and where you detail your days spent screaming at the world because of things like no footballs on a pitch or (the ultimate insult to your profession and let’s face it probably humanity) players that arrive late for training. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST ARRIVE ON TIME, ROY? WHY?
But we understand you, Roy. We understand that when you are perfect (which you are and anyone with a different opinion can FUCK OFF) and everyone else around you is just a walking collection of bad habits and all you can really do to express just how frustrated this makes you is to yell at them, wittily insult them and maybe pre-emptively end their careers with a “miss-timed” tackle. People who criticise you for this just don’t GET you, Roy. Not like we do. They don’t get what’s it like to love Ireland SO much that you want to kill everyone in it who is shite and then burn it to the ground and weep over its beautiful ashes. But we get it, Roy. We get it.
There are so many things to love about you. So many things that have made you the greatest Irish icon of our generation.
Like how a couple of weeks ago, Ireland won a place in Euro 2016 and in your post-match interview this happened…
Yes Roy. You cracked a joke and smiled for 0.5 seconds and your joke/smile combination went viral and became a headline on most Irish based websites. This is not me taking the piss. This actually happened. Your millisecond smile made the papers. This is the power you hold over a nation in your constant thrall.
We love how your complete inability to do anything in a half-assed fashion even extends to growing a beard…
LOOK AT THAT THING. THAT’S NOT A BEARD. THAT IS A FEROCIOUS FACE BEAST! It simultaneously has the power to shelter the weak from harm and also suck in all the world’s evil and players who are late for training and Jason McAteer and tangle them in its wirey web before suffocating them. We are 100% convinced that when you shaved this beard the hair was divided up and was used as the main ingredient in a series of power smoothies that were given to the Irish team before the last few games, and this and ONLY THIS is the reason we have qualified for the Euros in France.
We love that this is your default face around other human beings –
And that this is your default face around puppies –
Because puppies are better than humans Roy and most people pretend that this isn’t a true fact but it IS true and there’s no fucking way you’re pretending it’s not.
We love that time you when you were still playing for Man United and you went to punch Alan Shearer…
Because Alan Shearer is a prick. And even worse than that, he is a dull prick and maybe you didn’t really mean to be aggressive at all Roy and were simply trying to revive him from his personality coma the only way you knew how. But everyone always just thinks the worst of you.
We love watching you be a pundit on TV, where you give succinct opinions on players such as Ashley Young (“an absolute disgrace”) but mainly diss the England team (Adrian Chiles: Will england win Roy? Roy Keane: No). We especially used to like it when your fellow pundit was Gareth Southgate and he spent most of the night fidgety and weird, like he was afraid to look directly at you. Probably because you once did this to him…
We love that this is an actual conversation that happened at an Ireland press-conference
Journalist: Robbie Keane’s wife just had a baby. Will he be available for the match?
Roy Keane: Yes, why wouldn’t he be? He didn’t have the baby. Unless he’s breastfeeding he should be all right.
We love the manager/assistant manager bromance you’ve developed with Martin O’ Neill. So much so that I’m working on an erotic fanfiction about it that I don’t want to go into too much detail about just yet but – spoiler alert- let’s just say things get pretty hot at the Aviva stadium after this…
We can’t really blame Martin for falling in love though. How could he not? We are all in love with you Roy. Even the people who say they hate you, despise you so passionately that they would probably end up having angry sex with you anyway. You are a national obsession. A Corkonian treasure. A wild, passionate, poem of a man. And next year our summer days will be filled with your withering gaze, your barely concealed temper and maybe, if we’re lucky and the Ireland team are still drinking your power beard, a millisecond smile when we gloriously draw 1-1 with a late equaliser against a team that should probably have destroyed us.
In Roy we trust.