After 10 years Niall Quinn's ready for I, Keano
It's been 10 years since the play first took Irish stages by storm, but football legend Niall Quinn has revealed he has never seen I, Keano - despite one of the main characters being written about him.
The former Ireland soccer ace (48) said he has never seen the musical comedy (based on Roy Keane's infamous departure from the Irish squad before the 2002 World Cup) since it first hit the stage in 2005 because of the way his wife Gillian is portrayed in it.
"Funny enough, when it was out first time around we heard that she [Gillian] was getting more stick than me so we said, 'Oh well, we're not going to that'," he said.
However, now that a decade has passed, Niall (inset) admitted he's ready to see the funny side as he prepares to watch it for the first time this weekend.
"This time around we've actually got tickets," he said. "So, we're going to take it on the chin."
The hugely successful play, which was co-written by Father Ted creator Arthur Matthews, opens at the Olympia Theatre tomorrow, with broadcaster Sile Seoige making her stage debut as Surfia - the character based on model Gillian.
Former Sunderland chairman Quinn, who retired from playing professional football in 2003, also revealed that it disappoints him that he and his former Ireland teammates don't stay in touch, despite being "so close".
"It's a pity really," he told the Ian Dempsey Show on Today FM.
"It's been 25 years this year since the 1990 experience in Italy, which people call the golden age of Irish football, and we don't stay in touch. We don't have reunions and you look back and see we were so close.
"Here we are, 25 years on and wondering what other people in the squad are doing, but at the same time there's very special memories."