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03rd Jan 2024

Rory McIlroy puts it to Roy Keane over infamous autograph snub

Lee Costello

“F***** hell, give me a break.”

Golfing legend Rory McIlroy puts it to a sheepish Roy Keane over the infamous autograph snub, back when the young sportsman was just 12 years old.

McIlroy was always a massive Man United fan, and naturally, fellow Irishman and team captain Keane was his hero. So, when he saw the opportunity to ask the Premier League star for his signature he jumped at the chance.

However, Keane turned down the young fan, and it has been a story that McIlroy has repeated over the years when asked about his own experiences of signing autographs and getting selfies.

Rory McIlroy puts it to Roy Keane over infamous autograph snub.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Stick to Football podcast, the four-time major champion reminded Keane of what happened.

“I was down at Portmarnock Links Hotel and the Irish team were staying. I saw one of my Man United legends in the lobby and asked him for an autograph. He looks over and goes ‘not today, kid.’ I was like ‘Okay…'”

A red-faced Keane was caught off guard and asked:

“Is that true? The only thing I remember about that hotel was that there was always kids around annoying the players and I was probably thinking ‘here’s another one’,” joked the Irishman.

“I’m still going to fight my corner over this. It depends on the timing, if you’re in the zone or where you are mentally. I feel bad, if that is 100 per cent true. I wouldn’t just snub a little kid….

“F***** hell, give me a break. I’m just thinking I must have been…”

That’s when Arsenal legend Wright cut in: “Normal Roy,” which caused the rest of the panel to erupt with laughter.

An embarrassed Keane then asked: “Can we move on?” But the final word went to McIlroy who said: “It’s fine, I’ve gotten over it. We’ve made up now, and we’re best of friends.”

Rory McIlroy admits that he has refused autographs like Roy Keane did to him.

Wright took the opportunity to ask McIlroy if he ever turned down someone who asked him for an autograph, given that he is now one of the biggest names in sport right now.

Surprisingly, the golfer admitted that even with his negative experience with Keane, he has found himself in situations where he couldn’t take the time for some fans.

“Yeah I have. People know this story because people said ‘you like to give back to kids’ and I said ‘yeah, and I have this story because it stayed with me, about Roy Keane, big hero of mine, and whatever.’

“But I think we have all been in positions where we have been busy or we have had to take a phone call or whatever, and you’re like ‘aw I’m sorry I can’t do that’ but you can’t please everyone.

“You try your best, you really try your best to give everyone time, especially younger people and kids, but it is hard. It used to be autographs, and now it’s selfies, but there is a time and a place.

“If you’re with your family, or you’re having dinner, there is a time and a place for people to approach you, and I think that is the thing that for, a person who is in a position that is well known, it can get frustrating at times.

“But someone reminded me that you could literally make someone’s day, 20 times a day, which is a really nice position to be in.

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