Steven Gerrard: I wouldn't allow a Roy Keane Manchester United shirt in my house
Steven Gerrard has spoken of his respect for Roy Keane but insists he will never allow a Manchester United jersey in his house, even if he was given one by the Corkman.
Former Liverpool captain Gerrard battled against Keane for years in the Premier League during a time when United dominated and Keane picked up six Premier League medals.
During his 17 years at Anfield, Gerrard built up a special rapport with the Kop faithful - and a distinct rivalry with the men, and fans, from old Trafford.
Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One today, Gerrard had an abrupt response when it was mentioned that he had previously stated he would never allow a Man United jersey in his house.
"Why would I?. Why would I allow a Manchester United one when they are the biggest rivals?" asked Gerrard.
"Maybe because you might have swapped shirts with someone like Roy Keane?" answered Sean O'Rourke.
This prompted Gerrard to speak of his admiration for Keane while reiterating his stance on the the red half of Manchester.
"Roy Keane is one of my favourite players. I really loved playing against him, I have nothing but respect for the guy and as a player but being a Liverpool fan from the day I was born, there is no need for me to have a Manchester United shirt in my house."
Gerrard also had high praise for another Irishman and Roy's namesake Robbie.
Keane did not feature in either of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off matches against Bosnia or the 1-0 win over Germany in Lansdowne Road but Gerrard admits he would be "stunned" if Ireland's record goalscorer did not make the plane to France next June.
Steven Reid recently revealed just how important Keane is around the squad and in the dressingroom and Gerrard certainly agrees.
"We already had a decent connection but it certainly got stronger when I turned up in LA," said Gerrard.
"He put his arm around me and helped me settle. He is a legend out there at Galaxy, he is scoring heavily week in, week out. I Know how popular he is here in Ireland and how big he was in the Premier League and he certainly took that over to the Galaxy and the MLS.
"I would be stunned if he was not in the squad. I think Martin O'Neill will take him for his experience. He is capable of scoring big goals at big moments and them players are very hard to come by.
"I know he hasn't played as much in the last couple of qualifiers and the play-off but Martin has had him alongside him on the bench and Robbie does a terrific job on the pitch but also off it as well and I am sure he will want him around.
"I know Robbie well enough to know he won't be happy being a squad player. He will want to push to try and get playing time."
When Keane signed for Liverpool in July 2008, Gerrard occupied the number 10 shirt and was in fine form playing off the front man.
It was the role in which Keane was signed to fill, but Gerrard insists that is not the reason why Keane only lasted six months at Anfield.
"It wasn't all down to Robbie. Robbie came and worked hard on the training pitch and scored some important goals for us but these things happen in football, players move about and sometimes don't settle for whatever reason.
"I think there was a bit of a clash with Rafa Bentiez maybe but I certainly wanted him to stay around for a long time.
"He is a very talented player and I like playing with him so I was sad to see him go.
"Maybe that was a small part of it (Gerrard being number 10) but I think it was more down to Rafa Benitez, he was trying to change the way Robbie played.
"The reason we bought Robbie Keane was to play off the front man and cause damage. Rafa was trying to change that and change his game and I don't think Robbie was too happy with that.
"I think that is where the clash came. I don't think it was down to me becoming a number 10."
Belfast Telegraph Digital