Life-long Manchester United fan Rory McIlroy has revealed that he is not the biggest fan of club legend Roy Keane, after the midfielder snubbed him for an autograph as a child.
Last week a clip of the Northern Irishman walking between holes at the British Masters went viral thanks to a young boy’s joyous reaction at being handed a signed golf ball.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, McIlroy, ahead of his last appearance of the Golfing season at St Andrews, McIlroy said: “It's lovely when you can do that, but it can work both ways."
McIlroy revealed his personal willingness to interact with his fans stems from a soul-crushing encounter with the Manchester United idol, who refused to sign an autograph.
"I remember approaching someone for an autograph when I was that age and they didn't give it to me and I've never liked them since. It was Roy Keane, who should be one of my heroes"
The 28-year-old golfer claimed the moment has stuck with him since childhood, but has also taught him not to follow in the footsteps of the Irishman.
“I went and asked him for an autograph at the Portmarnock Links hotel when he was with the Ireland squad and he said no. It stuck with me.
"I'm sure he's all right but I've never forgotten it. That's why, when a kid asks me for an autograph, I always try to do it.”
This is not the first time that McIlroy has spoken out about former United captain Keane, according to the Mail.
Following one of Keane’s and Sir Alex Ferguson’s well-documented feuds, McIlroy was asked how much he would pay to see the two pull on their gloves and jump in the boxing ring together.
“I'd pay a lot to watch Sir Alex knock him out and shut him up for good,” McIlroy replied.