Roy Keane has provided a withering response to a question about head knocks and concussions in football, insisting that any player too worried about the physical side of sport should take up chess.
Keane was famously a ferocious tackler and competitor in his playing days and whilst he might have hung up his boots, it seems the former Manchester United captain still refusing to suffer what he perceives to be fools gladly.
Speaking in a press conference today in his current guise as the Republic of Ireland assistant manager, Keane was asked about ex-Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, who was forced to retire last week at the age of 34 after suffering several painful concussions.
Speaking via the Daily Mail, Keane seemed to be understanding of Doyle’s decision, but was pretty forthright when referring to people who are worried about taking a few knocks.
He said: “He’s a centre forward and he’s going to be having a lot of challenges with centre-halves as you’d expect. I’m sure he’s knocked a few centre-halves over himself and he’s had a few knocks and that’s part of the game.
“There’s risks involved in everything, particularly in sport. It is a physical game.
“But hopefully Kevin’s picked the right time to say enough’s enough for him and we wish him well, of course.
“I’m sure that’s ongoing, the research into players who are suffering from concussion.
“But if you’re worried about the physical side of any sport – and you’re wary of it – then play chess.
“It’s part of the game, whether it be hurling, football, American football, you see the rugby lads.
“It’s part of the game. When you cross that line, there is an element of risk involved.”
Keane is seen as football’s ultimate no nonsense figure, but what do you think of his comments? Should he be more concerned about the health and well-being of his fellow professionals?