Why Roy Keane reminds former Manchester United team-mate David Bellion of Ricky Gervais

Roy Keane reminded David Bellion of Ricky Gervais
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Manchester United signed David Bellion from Sunderland in the summer of 2003, Ricky Gervais was at the height of popularity in the UK due to his character, David Brent, in the mockumentary sitcom The Office.

Bellion played with Roy Keane for two-and-a-half seasons before the Irishman's eventual falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, but during that time he got to see the real Roy - one which reminded him of the comedian Ricky Gervais. 

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, Bellion describes stories of Keane at Manchester United and how he and Gervais resembled each other.

“Whenever I think of Roy Keane, I always think of Ricky Gervais,” the ex-United forward explains. “He’s got that dry sense of humour – dark, but funny. Very intelligent and sarcastic. 

“We had a Christmas party once and he wore a T-shirt saying something like, ‘Nobody speaks to me’. Everybody laughed about that. Inside the club, everyone loved him, but we knew that in the outside world, a lot of people feared Roy Keane and weren’t very comfortable talking to him. 

"You’re not going to look at the sun with no sunglasses."

Bellion continues, highlighting the impact Keane had on not just himself, but others around him.

“He was the best captain I ever had. I had a good relationship with him – we did yoga together quite a lot. He was surrounded by unbelievable players, like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville, but they all saw him as a leader. 

"His brain is different: he’s hypersensitive, which isn’t a bad thing. He pushed things to the maximum because he was obsessed with detail. Whether he was right or wrong, you had to respect his opinion.”

During their period playing together, between 2003 and 2005, Manchester United only won a Community Shield and the FA Cup. However, he failed to pick up a winners' medal for the Cup, due to only playing two games and not making the squad for the final.

The French forward had loan spells at West Ham and Nice in 2005 and 2006 respectively, before Manchester United sold him to the latter for a permanent transfer. 

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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.