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“United Players Were S**t Scared Of Keano”

goramAndy Goram came to Manchester United on loan during the 2000-2001 to help us out during a time when our other goalies, Fabien Barthez and Raimond Van der Gouw, were unavailable – Barthez on duty with the French side and Van der Gouw struggling with injury.

His first game was our 4-2 win over Coventry in the league although was subbed off with an hour played with the scoreline at 2-2. Van der Gouw also replaced Goram in his second match with less than an hour played in our 2-1 defeat to Southampton. Given that we were ten points clear on the final day of the season, the result mattered little.

Goram has got an autobiography out and has revealed what his time was like at United, with details about events on the training ground as well as the conversation he had with Ferguson about signing, which started with him putting the phone down on our manager!

Shark’s eyes. Dead, devoid of emotion, glaring at me. No handshake. Welcome to Manchester United. Roy Keane-style. The man who saw himself as the heartbeat of the Reds was giving me a message. He just looked right through me as the embarrassed Steve McClaren, the United No 2, tried to introduce the new on-loan keeper to his volcanic captain. From that second I knew there was no point in me making an effort with Keane. Roy had things he stood by, things that framed his life, beliefs he clung to with a burning intensity. Well, I had mine. What he did to me on that first morning at work at the most famous football club in the world didn’t faze me. It didn’t send me scurrying into my shell. I just thought: ‘F*** it. He’s not going to stop me enjoying this.’ He was a Celtic man, I was a Rangers man. He didn’t like me. End of story. Fair enough. After all, I’d done enough to make some Celtic fans dislike me in seven years at Ibrox. There was to be no handshake. Ever.

The truth is we didn’t exchange a civil word in the three months I was at Old Trafford. From day one we had arguments on the training pitch and didn’t get on. It was serious stuff. He hated the sight of me. However, I was 36 years old. I’d landed the move of my life in the twilight of my career. Was I going to let one man’s sneering disdain for me wreck the experience? Forget it.

There were clashes between us. One day in training, we were playing a game of eight-a-side, and Keane and Luke Chadwick were up front for my team. I always prided myself on the accuracy of my kicking, on being able to pick out a player from a distance, and that day I half-volleyed a peach right onto Chadwick’s foot. The kid snatched at it and ballooned his volley over the bar. Suddenly, I was the target of a volley of abuse from Keane.

’Hey you, give me the f*****g ball,’ he screamed.

I replied: ‘What, do you get the ball just cos you’re Roy Keane? F*** off.’

The atmosphere was icy from that moment on and on the way off the field Gary Neville collared me.

’Goalie,’ he said, ‘we don’t talk to Roy like that down here. We just don’t.’

It was a telling insight for me. I respected Keane as a player, but I couldn’t have that. As far as I was concerned, the way he spoke to some of the players was bang out of order. Many of them were clearly shit-scared of him.

Goram has also retold the story of events which lead up to his loan deal with United in which he amusingly hung up the phone on Sir Alex Ferguson.

When I had three months of my contract left, they let it be known that I wouldn’t be offered another one. I was knackered. Miriam and I were together at the time and she was driving me to training one day when my phone rang. Coisty. It was 9.30am and I thought he must be coming in from a night on the batter. Ally never phones you in the morning. We blethered, and I shrugged it off and went into training.

Then at lunchtime on the way home the phone rang again. Walter Smith. He was manager of Everton at the time and warned me to keep my phone on because someone was going to ring me.

‘What is it, gaffer? You got a job for me?’ I asked. ‘Just keep your fucking phone on,’ he growled.

Now I was starting to wonder what was going on. I suspected I was about to get the piss taken out of me. Two minutes later, the phone rang again.

‘Goalie, it’s Alex Ferguson here. We’ve got Bayern Munich on Wednesday and Liverpool at the weekend. Barthez is injured and Raimond van der Gouw is struggling. I need you to come down on loan until the end of the season.’

I said: ‘Coisty, fuck off’. And put the phone down. Ally could do Sir Alex perfectly. I wasn’t falling for that old one. The phone rang again and I told Miriam to answer it this time.

’Miriam, this is Alex Ferguson, and you can tell that fat bastard he’s got ten seconds to say aye or naw.’

It really was him. I thought I was dreaming. I’d been playing football for 20 years, and there had been many great moments. But I don’t think many come close to that call from Sir Alex Ferguson.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Jandsdad says:

    @ redrick

    well put

  2. daelm says:

    goram clearly couldn’t tell the difference between respect and ‘shit-scared’. so he claims that players were scared to make his own lack of team ethic, respect and heart seem like bravery.

    fuck him.

  3. keanesmagichat says:

    ulster red

    the reason gibson chose to plat for the ROI is because he is catholic.
    do you remember how neil lennon was treated? booed, attacked,father attacked by the windsor park boys.. why? because he was a catholic and played for celtic…

    also NI are shit.. so good football decision also by Gibbo…

  4. daelm says:

    united is a great club, but you didn’t hear henrik larssen bleat on about it being the highlight of his life. fucking sad.

    ulster red: “darren gibson is the player..he was born in n.irleland but chose to play for the r.o.i….so what would his reason be only that he probably was borught up to hate n.ireland”

    your mind-reading powers are extraordinary. lucky us that we number amongst us fans like you, who can tell from a distance and with unerrirng confidence what total fucking strangers are thinking.

  5. keanesmagichat says:


    spot on lad.. ulster red is talking through his arse

  6. Barab says:

    Goram shud never have been allowed to set foot in ot, not just because he was a sectarian bigot, but he was also a shite overweight goalkeeper at that stage, we should have been given our youth team keepers a chance with the league won, when was the last time a decent keeper came through our academy and got a run in the first team?
    26+6=1 that’s why gibbo plays for Ireland

  7. Xyth says:

    If we had someone like Roy Keane in the team now, Sunday’s poor performance would not have happened.

    Losers like Goram can say whatever they want about Roy, but he remains a LEGEND.

  8. daelm says:

    the same andy goram who has so much to say about the players and club he spent 30 seconds at, is described this way by his ex-wife miriam:

    “Keeping him away from alcohol and gambling was a full-time job.”

    “His manager and I had to search the pubs in Glasgow to find Andy. I had to drag him out of pubs repeatedly.”

    “He would get very full of his own importance and if you didn’t want to join the party, he wasn’t interested.”

    “When Andy walked out on me he…left me with a trail of debts, including VAT and Inland Revenue bills. The pub we co-owned had debts of around £50,000.”


  9. Jandsdad says:

    @ keanesmagichat

    re neil lennon treatment while playing for NI.
    Its strange how other Catholic players who are currently playing for Norn Iron are not victim to this abuse.
    I’m not denying the abuse was disgusting but Lennon didn’t give 2 shits about playing for the team even before his move to Celtic ever happened.

  10. shmoo says:

    fk this fat arsed blue nosed cunt. never liked him before he joined, and still dont like him.. did fk all for utd, and tbh we was scraping the barrell signing this twat.. i hope keane rubbed his knob around his drinks during halftime :) ..hahah!!

  11. Jandsdad says:

    @ shmoo

    very good , keano the evil genius.

  12. GreenRed says:

    @ulster red.

    This is not a site for bullshit. darron is from derry and wanted to play for the republic and thats his choice.simple as

    “so what would his reason be only that he probably was brought up to hate n.ireland” . dont go down that road mate. this forum is for football

  13. Ulster Red says:

    NI are shit? funny that, more passion from players to fans than any fucking country your from..and that passion gets results, we have been unlucky the past couple of campagins so to say we are shit is laughable aswell

    exactly the point i made..if darren gibson had of chose NI i would have backed him 110%…like i do with mcourt and mguinn among others..neil lennon didnt give two fucks well before he went to celtic and it showed all too clearly

  14. Jandsdad says:

    @ saoruladh

    forgot to mention , your username might not be very appropriate when it comes to taking the moral high ground when talking about paramiltary sympathisers.

    Anyone interested just google it

  15. Ulster Red says:

    very interesting..ill not mention what it said on here but saoruladh can go and fuck himself after what i read..i know you disagree with some of my comments so im not looking anyone to back me up on this

  16. Mancuniac says:

    I must admit, when i saw that fat bastard wearing a united shirt a few years back I thought Fergie had been supping too much buckfast, probably the worse Goalkeeper I’ve ever seen at OT. Let’s leave the Catholic v Protestant bollocks out of it people, Manchester United have always been a club enhanced by players from all over the world, despite religion, Best, Keane, Whiteside, Irwin, McGrath, O’Shea, Evans were and are all on the same side – MUFC

  17. Jandsdad says:

    @ Ulster Red

    You seem to be a good lad but on the Gibbo issue we should agree to disagree.
    Like i said before would have preferred him to have played for Norn Iron but he decided upon the a ROI thats his choice/loss whatever way you see it

  18. keanesmagichat says:

    @ ulster red

    i couldnt care about passion their shit..
    when was the last time the animals were in a major competition? 1982?

    their the from the same ilk as the rangers fans who destroyed manchester.. a lot of them were from northern ireland, my brother in law runs a pub in the city centre and i heard first hand what animals they are…

  19. saoruladh says:

    i assume you are referring to the dissident republican paramilitaries using the phrase saor uladh as a cover name. it is nothing more than a cover name.
    have been using that phrase for nigh on ten years and only in last year have i heard it used by anyone else.

    for those interested, it means free ulster. so yea, im a nationalist and believe that there should be a united ireland. lots of people do. i dont agree with the use of armed force to achieve it. neither do i realistically think it will happen, but its a hope nonetheless.

    just because i have these beliefs does not then equate to me being either sectarian or bigoted. i have a love for my protestant brethern also. i just think ireland should be ireland, a view im sure the majority of the irish lads weve ever had at united most likely hold. its a common desire.

    my moral high ground as you so neatly put it, remains intact, as i have neither expressed any bigoted ideals or expressed a support for an armed struggle. fact is i would oppose it. the majority of folk here have moved on.

    my incredulity was aimed at ‘ulster’ red’s statement that darron gibson is a sectarian bigot for choosing to play for the republic of ireland rather than the north.

    that, frankly, is a vile abhorrent and totally ridiculously unfounded statement from a narrow minded fool. that just because gibson doesnt share red’s passion for norn iron he is a bigot. surely you can all see how ludicrous this statrement was?

    so yea, my pen name in now way infers any support for an armed movement. it is simply a phrase i have used and liked for over a decade. but good job on research. hope i have contextualised it for you now and you can perhaps reassess your by now no doubt horrible opinion of me.

  20. Jandsdad says:

    @ keanesmagichat

    Why have you decided to call a country of 1.6 million people animals or is it only the people in that country who call themselves Northern Irish.
    Do you think before you use your keyboard?
    Typed like a truly enlightened person
    Have you taken social diversity training ?
    Oh yeah 1986 World Cup in spain to be correct

  21. keanesmagichat says:

    @ jansdad

    fair point

  22. keanesmagichat says:

    this argument all started as a result of a ridicoulous point raised by ulster red…
    havent seen him/her on this forum before and hope i dont again…
    stupid, brainless prick

  23. Jandsdad says:

    @ saoruladh

    I accept your point of view 100% but your username was used long before I suspect you or I were born.
    Can’t believe we are discussing this on an MUFC blog, lol.
    Anyway the whole point of this blog was that fat waste of space Goram talking shit and the disappointment i felt seeing him wear my teams shirt even if only briefly.

  24. redrick says:

    @keanesmagichat- wat animals are u are u talking about?

  25. Hughsie88 says:

    Gibson is a bigot? He comes from Freederry and chooses to play for ROI – it certainly doesn’t make him sectarian – he might have nationalist political views, but so do a lot of people. Coming from Glasgow with a strong affinity for the Bhoys along with United, it was disgusting the abuse Lennon got from the N.I fans.

    H/e, that is beside the point – if gibson is a bigotted sectarian, then so is Zidane, Viera, Deco etc having played for France (instead of Algeria (i think) and Senegal) and Portugal instead of Brazil. Closer to home, look at McGeady: chose to play for Ireland because he has an affinity for the country, like many Glaswegians, and probably thought it would be a higher standard.

  26. Jandsdad says:

    @ mancuniac

    well said pal.
    The problem is a subject like this can spiral so easily out of context especially with religious/political undertones.

  27. redrick says:

    @jandsdad- thats true, can get out of hand, should leave all that sectarian shit til the rangers and celtic mob.

  28. Jandsdad says:


    your not wrong pal
    all the best

  29. redrick says:

    @jandsdad- cheers

  30. Gee says:

    Whats all this bollocks on here lol!! Fuck Goram, fuck the sectarian shit and fuck the scousers!! UNITED TILL I DIE!!

  31. Falkirk_Red says:

    And you wonder why Rangers and Celtic wont get down to the Premier, we have only had one topic about Bigotry and we are all fighting amongst ourselves for christ sake..

    This is why i personally dislike both the Old Firm


  32. Hurdy Gurdy Man says:

    I dont know why yous are all slating Ulster Red. Hes completely right and hasnt been at all sectarian. Gibson plays for the Republic (not very much) because hes catholic and was raised as Irish and not Northern Irish. These things have happened in the North whether yous want to believe it or not. Neil Lennon never had the chance to play for the Republic. That ruling only came in over Gibson. Im sure that more players would have done it down the years otherwise. Im from Dublin and KEANESMAGICHAT you are the one talking through your arse. N.I. are not shit. Before this qualification group they did better than us in the two previous qualifications and are higher in the world rankings. they had a much harder group than we did and nearly qualified. we won 4 matches from 12 lest we forget. 2 against Georgia (of which the away match was moved to a neutral ground) and 2 against Cyprus Neither of which we deserved to win. The Republic are just as shit as the North if not worse. average players who look like theyd rather not play. Why would else would Gibson rather play for the Republic. Shit Glen Whelan and Keith Andrews get their game ahead of him. Give me a break. Take your head out of your arse and smell the fucking coffee mate!!

  33. Irwinisalegend says:

    Ulster Red- To call Gibson a bigot is ridiculous. He’s a Catholic from Derry. He has more in common with The Republic of Ireland than he has with northern ireland. Under the terms of Good Friday he’s entitled to declare with the south without fear of being called a bigot. Why would he choose a team who have historically been anti-catholic. Billy Bingham in Windsor Park in November 1993 springs to mind!

  34. Ulster Red says:

    hurdy gurdy man
    thank you at least somone see sense
    windsor park has changes a hell of alot since 1993..try watchn a match ther like i do every game and see the greatest fans in europe..and thats a uefa fact

  35. saoruladh says:

    hurdy gurdy, we were ‘slating’ ulster red because he said gobson was a sectarian bigot as a result of the choice he made. red’s point blank refusal to try and see things from another point of view, namely that of irish catholics in the north, is the very definition of bigotry. he cannot and will not see things from another side. so yes, it is a logical and sensible conclusion to say he himself is the bigot rather than gibson.

    and ulster red, is that maybe the red of liverpool you’re referring to, cuz you sound an awful lot like rafa there……

  36. Ulster Red says:

    free ulster
    trust me im a massive united fan have been since i got into football.i cant see gibsons side because its bigotory, and im not that..unlike ur username which you have already one

  37. saoruladh says:

    how is it bigotry to want to play for the country to which you feel you belong????

    look, i even posted the definition of it earlier in the board. and near enough everyone on here has been appalled at your labelling of gibson. you just cannot see it from someone elses viewpoint. THAT is the definition of bigotry. look it up. and it is not sectarian either. its having a cultural identity different to yours. one that you cant tolerate. its ridiculous. we are a divided country, but we both sides have the right to our self determination, to choose what we believe, what church we associate ourselves to, what nationality we profess ourselves to be. im from belfast, but im irish. its both a legal and a moral right.

    its just not bigotry, simple as. if you cant see the distinction, then you are stupid as well as ignorant.

  38. saoruladh says:

    and yes, my name means free ulster.
    but im not a bigot. i can see both sides of the story, i can understand someone elses desire to be british or northern irish. i can understand both aspects of the division. but there will be no moving on if we cant see the argument both ways.

  39. Ulster Red says:

    i cannot see gibsons point of view as you call it because its wrong, and for you to post your comment in a nice educated way will only make you look the right in all this…i have now finished in this topic..i believe what i do and im entitled to that as are you

  40. mummy85 says:


    Ur obiviously a dirty fenian bastard who hates protestants and N.Ireland, does us all a favour and fuck off

    P.S. Andy Gorman and Ally McCoist are Rangers Legends


    Couldn’t give a fuck if you call me a biggot, Up the Ulster, fuck the taigs!!!

  41. toby says:

    missed this article somehow, a month late in saying, ulster red, you are a prick


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