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Ferdinand reveals why Roy Keane once punched former United youngster Chris Eagles in training

  • The former United defender says that Eagles was trying to impress Keane by clattering him with aggressive tackles in training.
  • The Irishman punched the young midfielder straight in the jaw, after which Rio had to warn him to stay calm.

Speaking about one incident involving Roy Keane in Man United training, Rio Ferdinand said: “I remember when Roy Keane punched up Chris Eagles one time. He (Eagles) was only [a] young kid, (taking) liberties. It was good for him Eagles.

“Roy must have been coming back from an injury, or he didn’t play, and he was playing with the reserves and the youngsters that were in there like Eagles and Lee Martin were like rats, getting in close and trying to tackle.

“He went in late on Roy once or twice and Roy said to him, ‘Listen, slow down’. The ball comes in again, Eagles was trying to impress, trying to leave him mark and left a little bit on Roy again and pulled his jersey.

“Roy just turned round and went bang in the jaw. A quick short jab and I just stood there and went, ‘Roy, what’s wrong with you?’

“And I went inside and said, ‘Roy, why are you doing that for? He’s a young kid man.’ And I warned him.”

Keane was known for having a short temper and not being afraid of getting physical or aggressive, be it on or off the pitch. The former United captain had quite a few controversial incidents in his final years at Old Trafford, including criticising teammates after a poor performance in 2005 – after which he was let go by the club.

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