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big claim WATCH: Niall Quinn claims Premier League referees were 'scared stiff' of Roy Keane

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Quinn with Keane when they were chairman and manager of Sunderland

Quinn with Keane when they were chairman and manager of Sunderland

Quinn with Keane when they were chairman and manager of Sunderland

Former Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn has claimed Roy Keane's intimidation factor stretched to Premier League referees, in comments he offered up during an interview to be aired on Virgin Media Sport.

Quinn and Keane have had a colourful relationship down the years as the pair fell out during Keane's infamous spat with Mick McCarthy, before they were reunited as Quinn appointed Keane as Sunderland boss.

Now Quinn has reflected on the influence Keane had on referees during his time as Manchester United captain, as he recounted a story from his playing days during a chat with host Tommy Martin.

"I can remember playing one game for Man City when he was literally running every part of the United team," recalled Quinn.

"Barking orders at everybody. The moment when I went 'wow, this fella, he really has got it' was not some outrageous skill or a great tackle.

"It was a moment where a ball came across from a corner kick and we had a German guy at full-back Martin Frontzeck.

"He went up for a header with (Eric) Cantona. The ball was played too far to the back post and Cantona half-fouled him.

"The referee blew his whistle and Keane roared at the ref: 'That's a terrible decision! How dare you give that decision!'

"Then the ref said 'Roy I haven't, it's a penalty for you.' Roy just went 'yeah bloody right it is'.

"They scored the penalty and I thought 'oh my god that ref is scared stiff of Roy Keane."

Keane's legacy continues to create headlines long after his playing days in the game came to an end.

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