Ipswich Town’s former attacker Jon Walters has revealed the moment he offered to fight Roy Keane amidst a growing feud between the two.
Speaking to Liquid Football, Walters revealed he wanted to put things right with former boss Keane, whom he described as a bully. The two have been involved in an ongoing row through the media ever since their acrimonious time together at Portman Road.
Keane recently blasted Walters by teasing him about his lack of trophies, saying; “He talks a good game. Imagine if he’d won a trophy. He goes on the TV about how he was harshly treated by me. He’s crying on the TV about his family situation.
“Maybe he should lie low for a while. Have a look at his medals? That wouldn’t take long.”
That’s prompted the 35-year-old, who retired in March, to hit back at the former Nottingham Forest player’s jibes.
“I’ll tell you one thing about the man – he doesn’t get to me one bit. I’m possibly the only one that stood up to him, more than once. I think that’s what bothers him most maybe,” he hit back.
“I really don’t know why people pay attention. Why they get that worried by Roy. Because, yes, he was a good player – an unbelievable player – known as a hard man on the pitch.
“But there’s a difference between being a hard man on the pitch and being a tough guy. Just because someone has a sharp tongue or a stare, doesn’t make them a tough guy.
“My brother-in-law was a Marine commando, went to war, he’s a tough guy. They’re the people you say are tough guys, not Roy. So that’s why I was never scared as a player.”
Walters went on to describe an incident in which he squared up to Keane after demanding a transfer and being shot down time and again.
“I was like, ‘come on then, let’s have a fight, if you want to go for it, let’s go, hit me, hit me, he’s gone ‘you hit me’ and we’ve gone back and forth. (I said) you bully everyone in the club, you bully the staff and the players, but I’m not scared of you, let’s have it me and you.’
“So we’ve gone head to head, ‘hit me, you hit me’ and then it wasn’t happening so I’ve gone to walk out the room. As I’ve gone, he said something very personal, something that’s nothing to do with him, but it’s touched a nerve with me. So I’ve shut the door behind me and come back in.
“I’ve said basically that – ‘it’s got nothing to do with you, come on then, let’s have it. Hit me first and see what happens to you, just give me the chance, I’ll rip your head off’ that’s what I was basically saying to him.
“I’d gone by then, I’d switched, and once again we went back and forth for a bit. Then he says to me ‘you’re not going to hit me because I’ll have you arrested if you hit me.’ I knew I had him then. When you stand up to a bully, and you get ‘I’ll have you arrested if you hit me in this workplace’ so I said ‘ok then, well I’ll go meet you outside somewhere, call me tonight and I’ll come and meet you.’
“And he’s come back with ‘ooooh you’re going to meet me in the middle of a field with your mates and ambush me?’ So I said ‘no, I’ll come to your house and while all your family are there and whoever else, me and you, I’m on me own, I don’t care, I’ll meet you there’ and I’ve walked out.”
Walters would have some medals to look at too; he was an FA Cup runner up, as well as a runner up in League One and the old Division Three. Just for reference Roy.
We love these spats and they always seem to involve Keane. Keane and Vieira, Keane and Walters, Keane and Ferguson.
There’s a common denominator there, isn’t there?
Roy Keane is a great personality in terms of news, but he must have been a nightmare to work for. However, we’re sure these things go on all the time in football, but only a handful of players ever air them in public.