Tim Howard snubbed dinner invite from Roy Keane and opens up on what Man Utd legend was really like

Tim Howard snubbed dinner invite from Roy Keane and opens up on what Man Utd legend was really like

Tim Howard played for Manchester United for three seasons, and was the number one for two years (Image: Manchester United via Getty Images)

Between 2003 and 2005, Tim Howard was the starting goalie for Manchester United’s first team. After arriving in England, Roy Keane invited the legendary American to dinner, but Howard declined.

Tim Howard bravely turned down a dinner invitation from Roy Keane, the captain of Manchester United at the time, citing fear as the reason for his refusal.

Howard, who began his career with the North Jersey Imperials before joining the MetroStars, is considered one of the greatest American goalkeepers of all time. However, his abilities extended beyond Major League Soccer, and in 2003, United made the decision to sign him in order to replace Fabian Barthez.

The USMNT goalkeeper joined a locker room full of proven winners, including Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gary Neville, and Roy Keane, who had guided United to the Premier League championship the year before. Howard received an invitation to supper with Keane early on in his stay in Manchester, but he was afraid to go.

Howard stated in the Daily Mail, “I was in my first or second year at Manchester United when Roy Keane got word that my family had gone back to the United States for a week.” “He extended an invitation to join his wife Theresa and their children for dinner.

“Even though I was a young, foreign player, he was aware of every club development.” He was aware that my family had left. I was on my own, he knew. Nobody sees that side of Roy; in many respects, he is a true gentleman.

“I was too afraid to go in the end! I just remembered thinking, “I can’t even begin to imagine how terrified I am to eat dinner across from Roy in his own home.” Back then, he was Manchester United, and in person, he was much more menacing. However, the feeling was present.

Even though he couldn’t bring himself to have dinner with Keane, Howard obviously has a great deal of respect for the United legend. Though Howard waxed poetic about the combative midfielder’s leadership qualities, he saw a different side of Keane’s personality later in Howard’s career at Everton, when Keane was Ireland’s coach.

Howard said, “Roy is a very intelligent, well-read, and thoughtful man.” However, he is not the type to divulge that information to just anybody. That side of Roy Keane is not shared by all. That side of him has to be earned.

He had very high expectations, which I discovered early in life. However, you could only truly comprehend him to that extent if you forced yourself to do so. He would have respected you more if you hadn’t taken short cuts. Some people question whether that kind of leadership is still applicable in the modern game. I think it would. Why? since winners come out on top.

“I was anxious about everything when I first came to Manchester United in 2003,” he continued. However, Roy is a gentleman when he meets new people; he shakes hands, looks you in the eye, and speaks clearly. You don’t realize that this is a different animal until you lace up your boots and begin training. Roy raised the bar for himself and the players around him by creating such an impossible standard.

He believed that there was a proper way to proceed, and indeed there was. His obsession was being the greatest. He was also very intelligent. Roy uses great deliberateness in his speech, tone, timing, and delivery. In the most courteous sense possible, he was always aware of what the team needed.

Howard won the 2003 FA Community Shield, the 2003–04 FA Cup, and the 2005–06 League Cup while playing for United. He experienced some success there. In 2006, he moved on loan to Everton, and a year later, he made the move permanent.

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