‘Intimidating, terrifying’: Luke Chadwick recalls his very first training session with Roy Keane

Luke Chadwick first Manchester United training session Roy Keane
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Luke Chadwick came through Manchester United's youth team at the end of the 1990s, a promising player looking to break into arguably the greatest midfield in the history of the Premier League: Beckham, Scholes, Keane and Giggs.

Just months after United had won the treble in 1999, with Roy Keane captaining the side to one of the best achievements by an English side, Chadwick made his debut in a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa in the League Cup.

Before that, though, he of course had to train with the first team, comprised of international stars and players who had already won plenty of trophies during their career. 

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, Chadwick explains how Keane treated him during the first training session he made with the senior side. 

“I remember my first training session with the first team,” Luke Chadwick tells FFT. “I was on Roy’s team, and I gave the ball away a couple of times. He told me in no uncertain terms that my performance wasn’t up to standard. 

"I was thinking, ‘F**k, I’ve blown it now’. When we went inside after training, I expected another bollocking from him – I was so nervous. 

"But he pulled me to one side and explained that there was a level he expected of all of us, and it was his job to make sure we were at it every day. It didn’t matter if it was me, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham; he said he’d speak to everyone in the same way if standards weren’t right."

Chadwick went on to play 25 Premier League games for Manchester United, picking up a Premier League winners medal for the club's 2000/01 triumph. Many of those games came with Keane alongside him in the team, with Chadwick explaining how much he appreciated the midfield general next to him. 

“He was intimidating – terrifying, even – but he was the ultimate captain. He would be so supportive during games. He looked out for us on the pitch. If we gave everything, then he would fight for every last one of us.”

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.