Roy Keane’s reaction to ‘tried to castrate me’ accusation after Southgate stamp incident

Ian Wright mocks Roy Keane during 2018 World Cup coverage

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Southgate’s England side take on Albania at Wembley tonight, with the game’s coverage live on ITV from 7pm. England have a number of notable absentees, with Declan Rice having withdrawn from the squad due to illness, while Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford have both suffered injuries. Though England can make World Cup qualification a formality if they beat Albania, Southgate’s side have stuttered to draws against Poland and Hungary in the last two international breaks. 

Nevertheless England hold a three-point lead over Poland with two games left to play in Group I, against Edy Reja’s Albania side and European minnows San Marino.

The Three Lions will be confident of securing qualification, having won the reverse fixture in Tirana, Albania courtesy of goals from Harry Kane and Mason Mount.

ITV’s panel of pundits will be led by Mark Pougatch, with Keane, Ian Wright and Jermain Defoe on hand to offer expert insight on the game.

Of course, Keane, who was notoriously tenacious and aggressive in his playing days, was once caught in a famous altercation with Southgate in the Nineties.

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The England manager, who at the time played for Crystal Palace, was brutally stamped on in the genitals by Keane during the Eagles’ clash with Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup semi-final replay.

Keane subsequently received the first red of his professional career in English football for the brutal attack.

Southgate, who would often take on punditry duties with ITV alongside Keane before joining the FA and becoming England manager, once described the incident as Keane “trying to castrate” him.

Southgate made the remark while commenting on a 2013 Manchester City Chelsea FA Cup semi-final, in which Sergio Aguero trampled on Chelsea’s David Luiz after bringing him down.

Speaking on ITV, Southgate quipped: ‘It’s the worst tackle I’ve seen in the semi-final since Roy tried to castrate me at Selhurst Park 15 years ago.

“Although in fairness, that was retaliation as well.”

The comments sent the studio into rapturous laughter, and even put a smile on the typically doleful Keane.

During the 1995 semi-final, Southgate was dispossessed by Keane, after the Palace defender overran the ball in midfield

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With the whistle already blown, the now-England manager, known for his calm statesman-like manner, launched into a late scissor challenge on Keane. 

In retaliation, the Irishman stamped twice on Southgate’s genitals which naturally sparked a massive brawl between the two teams. 

Keane told Four Four Two magazine in 2014 it was the only time in his career he believed he had crossed the line. 

When asked if it was an incident he regretted, Keane said: “Yes, it probably was.

“But in my defence Gareth tried to cut me in half with a tackle. No one remembers that.

“He only got a yellow, whereas now he would probably get two months in prison. 

“There was an element of self defence with [the] stamp.”

Keane explained: “There was some needle in that game and I had already got a knock on my ankle. 

“I wasn’t going around stamping people for the sake of it. 

“I have said to Gareth since then that my advice to defenders is you always have to stay on your feet. So some of it was Gareth’s own fault.”

Watch coverage of England vs Albania on ITV tonight from 7pm.

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