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"Roy Keane's looking for you, he's not happy" | Higginbotham on time at Manchester United

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

20:17 30 Mar 2020

Danny Higginbotham told the Football Show about his time at Manchester United as a youngster, and a run-in with Roy Keane where he got more than he bargained for.

Higginbotham had a very respectable Premier League career, at the likes of Stoke City, Sunderland and Derby - but it was at Carrington under Alex Ferguson that he initially learned his craft.

Aged about 18 at the time of the incident, the apprentice was availing of the master's boots - literally, in the case of Keane.

Keane handed his used boots to apprentices and youth team players at United and Higginbotham found himself receiving first Hi-Tecs and then Diadoras from the Corkonian - a situation Higginbotham described as "wonderful" at the time.

Fellow youth team prospect Jonathan Greening told Higginbotham the kind of news that would cause a young player to change their underwear: "Roy's looking for you, he's not happy."

Roy Keane phone call

Higginbotham takes up the story from here:

"[Greening] said someone had rung Diadora up on my behalf saying that I wanted to get boots off them. To this day, I have no idea who or what it was because I didn't even have an agent.

"I went home and told my mum and dad, and I was like 'I can't leave it'.

"I couldn't leave it knowing that I would go in tomorrow and Roy would not be happy, because I understood the situation completely. If he was looking at me thinking 'if I am giving you my boots, what's the problem?'

"I got home, I rang the club and they were good enough to give me Roy's number. I rang up, his wife answered and said that he was out walking the dogs.

"I gave it 10 or 15 minutes, rang back and I was expecting it to really go off at me and be really angry.

"It was an unbelievable conversation. He said 'Danny, you're doing well. But please trust me - you don't need an agent. You don't need anything like that.'

"I was getting his older boots, because they didn't tend to wear them for that long, so they were near enough brand-new. I said to him that I would never do that and I would never ring up a company like that.

"He really understood me and I understood him, and it was a good conversation for someone as young as me to understand the point of view of a world-class player.

"He was the captain and leader of Manchester United and for him to take the time to speak like that to me, at such a young age, spoke volumes."

Higginbotham says players like Keane and Eric Cantona were generally very approachable for a conversation about their game - "there was no edge" to those exchanges, he says.

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Danny Higginbotham Manchester United Mufc Roy Keane Soccer

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