Rory McIlroy has claimed that Manchester United legend Roy Keane refused to sign an autograph for him when he was 12-years-old.
The four-time major champion recently made an appearance on the Stick to Football podcast, alongside Keane, Gary Neville, Jill Scott and Ian Wright.
During which, McIlroy revealed that he once asked the Republic of Ireland and United legend for a signature but was brutally rejected.
He said: ‘I was down at the Parmer Links hotel and the Republic of Ireland team were staying there too.
‘I saw one of my Manchester United heroes, Roy Keane, in the lobby, and I must’ve been around 12 years old, so I went over to him asking for an autograph.
Rory McIlroy claimed that Man United legend Roy Keane refused to sign an autograph for him
Republic of Ireland legend Keane (middle) made 480 appearances for United in his career
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‘He looked up at me and said, ‘not today kid’, but it was okay as it didn’t make an impression on me.’
Luckily for McIlroy, Keane’s brutal rejection wasn’t enough to sway his allegiance to the Red Devils.
The 34-year-old went on to reveal who his favourite United players were growing up and, perhaps, it’s no shock to realise that Keane wasn’t amongst them.
Speaking on his favourite footballer growing up, McIlroy said: ‘It was David Beckham for a good part of It, but I loved Wayne Rooney.
‘I still have season tickets at Manchester United and I loved going there and just watching Wayne because he worked so hard and ran everywhere, you felt exhausted after watching him for 90 minutes.
‘To be that good but to also have that work ethic, to me he looked like he loved football, and I loved watching him play.’
Unfortunately for Rooney, his recent managerial stint at Birmingham City did not live up to his stellar performances on the pitch, as McIlroy recalled.
The United legend was dismissed from his role as Birmingham boss on Tuesday morning after picking up just two wins from his 15 games in charge.
Keane was also on the podcast and laughed away as McIlroy recalled the story on the podcast
McIlroy also admitted he was ‘too judgmental’ to golfers who decided to join the rival league
In the same podcast, McIlroy admitted that he was ‘too judgmental’ of the players who first joined the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour.
The 34-year-old railed against the league, opposed golfers who signed up for massive pay days and essentially became the face of golf’s orthodoxy.
The sport’s civil war has also created a massive rift between the Northern Irishman and his former European Ryder Cup compadres, including Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. As recently as late last year, he took a firm stance against allowing the defectors to represent Europe in Rome in September.
However, off the back of his comments following Jon Rahm’s £400million mega deal with LIV, McIlroy has admitted that he was too harsh on players who decided to sign up.
Rory McIlroy was speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brough to you by Sky Bet.