Monday 21 January 2019

Roy cracks a smile as duo visit sick children

HE has a reputation for being short-fused and snappy, but soccer legend Roy Keane is showing his softer side this week.

Ahead of the Republic of Ireland's match against Oman this evening, team manager Martin O'Neill and his Cork-born assistant took time out of preparations to visit sick kids in Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Roy and Martin stopped by yesterday to greet some of the patients and spend quality time with families on the wards.

Sporting a beard, Roy looked cheerful as he posed for pictures and even signed a few autographs.

The retired player also obliged 10-year-old football fan Ella Larkin, from Glasnevin, who patiently sat in her bed waiting for his arrival wearing a Manchester United jersey.

It's an important week for Roy and Martin, who joined forces 10 months ago to lead the boys in green.

The 'dream team' were appointed last November and are now getting down to business by focusing on the European championship qualifiers in 2016.


Tonight's friendly game between Republic of Ireland and Oman gets underway at 7.45pm.

It has been organised ahead of the qualification campaign and comes in advance of another fixture this weekend. The squad will board a flight to Georgia on Friday.

"It's the start of the competition and from that point of view we're as prepared as we can be," Martin said.

See pages 12-13

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