ROY KEANE stamped on John Barnes within five minutes of his first-team debut, former Nottingham Forest team-mate Brian Laws has revealed.
The Man Utd legend, now 51, played his first senior game in the English top flight in August 1990 while under iconic manager Brian Clough.
He was selected by Cloughie for the blockbuster clash away at Liverpool – who ended up finishing runners-up that season.
But Keane's ex-team-mate Laws, who played behind the Irishman at right-back for the duration of the match, thought it was a joke when he was first selected for the Anfield game.
Speaking to FourFourTwo about Keane – who was 19 at the time – he said: "We were playing Liverpool away, and this young kid was sitting on the bus.
"Brian Clough would regularly take kids with us to get experience. I don’t think anyone spoke to him – no one knew who he was.
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"We got to Anfield and, as I thought, he was just pushing the skips into the dressing room and helping to put the kit out.
"Halfway through, he was putting the No7 shirt out when Cloughie stopped him and said, ‘Now, son, I want you to try that shirt on.’ We all started laughing, and this poor lad was embarrassed.
"He reluctantly put it on, as though he wanted to get it off as quickly as possible.
"Cloughie said, ‘You look a million dollars – you look so good, you’re playing’. We still thought it was a wind-up, but he was deadly serious.
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"He said to me, ‘You look after him: he’s playing right wing’. I thought, ‘What? I’m playing against John Barnes, and now I’ve got a rookie playing in front of me?’"
Laws was keen to protect Keane on the pitch, especially given he was coming up against England international Barnes.
But the Forest defender quickly realised the teenager did not need any help – despite Liverpool coming out 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley.
Laws continued: "I introduced myself. I didn’t even know his name – I had to ask him. I said, ‘Look, Roy, keep it simple and I’ll try to talk you through it’.
"But within five minutes of kick-off, Roy had stamped on Barnes, taken out another player, and when John was on the floor he just went, ‘F*** off’ in his face!
"There were five minutes of me looking after Roy, then he looked after me for the rest of the game.
“He was like a rat up a drainpipe, all over the place. It can be frightening to go out there at Anfield, but he had no fear.
"He didn’t care who he was playing against: he would have a go at them. What a debut."
Keane went on to play 154 times for Forest, scoring 33 goals.
He then joined Man Utd in 1993 where he would stay for 12 years.
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Keane made 480 appearances for the English giants, winning seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League.
He finished his career with one season at Celtic, winning the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup before hanging up his boots in 2006.
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