‘Roy did overstep the mark’: Team-mate's verdict on the infamous MUTV video that ended Roy Keane’s Manchester United career

Manchester United Middlesbrough 2005 4-1
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Manchester United lost 4-1 to Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in October 2005, this prompted Roy Keane to offer a scathing review on the club's in-house channel, MUTV. 

The unreleased footage - pulled off air by a furious Sir Alex Ferguson - has gone down in football folklore, and ultimately resulted in Keane's contract being terminated by mutual consent a few weeks later. 

It later transpired that Ferguson's captain had criticised the young players in the squad, reportedly focusing on the performances of John O'Shea, Alan Smith, Kieran Richardson and Darren Fletcher. 

Keane, however, has always maintained that the response to his comments were an overreaction, instead believing Sir Alex had used it as an excuse to get him out of the club as he entered the final years of his career. 

Phil Bardsley, who came through Manchester United's academy and started in that fateful game as a 20-year-old, believes differently.

“Roy did overstep the mark,” he tells FourFourTwo exclusively. “When it came out, we all knew he wasn’t going to play for United again. My overriding emotion was sadness.

"I had huge respect for both him and the manager, so it wasn’t a case of taking sides. Roy was always very good with us young lads. Growing up as a Manchester United fan, I was obsessed with being around him and learning from him.”

Indeed, Keane never played for Manchester United again, pitching up at Celtic for a six-month stint, before retiring from professional football altogether. 

He quickly took up the manager's position at Championship-level Sunderland, helping the Black Cats into the Premier League at the first time of asking in the 2006/07 season. 

Once in the top tier of English football, Keane signed former teammate Bardsley from Manchester United, for a reported £850,000 on a three-and-a-half-year contract. 

The full-back played 11 times under Keane in the 2007/08 season as Sunderland successfully avoided relegation, 

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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.