Andrew Cole has reflected on memories of his former Manchester United team mate and manager when he was at Sunderland, Roy Keane, following his very public falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I was trying to sleep in a Hong Kong hotel when I heard the banging in the corridor,” said Cole. “It was 1997 and I was on tour with Manchester United. I went to investigate and saw that Roy Keane, the club captain, was rolling around fighting with Peter Schmeichel, the giant goalkeeper. They weren’t playing. ‘Typical Roy,’ I thought, and went back to bed smiling. The next day, Schmeichel was wearing sunglasses. There had only been one winner. Keane could fall out with anyone. I once saw him come to blows with one of his best mates, Denis Irwin, in the dressing room. They were both from Cork and close friends. And they were being pulled apart.”

Cole was with Keano in Basel ahead of the game which post-match comments exposed the bad feeling between our former captain and our manager.

“Keane is as honest a TV critic as he was a player,” he continued. “I raised my eyebrows when he took that job, though, because he used to hammer players who went into TV, but Keane wants to stay in football and wants to stay active. Life moves on. If you don’t play then you manage or coach. If you don’t manage then you get into TV. TV companies want him because they know he won’t sit on the fence and be afraid to upset people. Keane made comments in Basel after United were eliminated from the Champions League which annoyed Ferguson. I was with Keane in Basel before the game and he was in a great mood. He came to see me, Gary Pallister and Bryan Robson in our hotel for a coffee. That’s the Gary Pallister whom Keane didn’t speak to for three years when they played together. They’re fine now and can laugh about it. I hope Keane and Ferguson can sort their differences out. I hope Keane can have the same type of relationship that Bryan Robson, a former United captain, has with the manager. Knowing both, that’s not going to happen overnight.”

Read the full article written with Andy Mitten in The National.