Roy Keane would tell Premier League referee ‘book me in the tunnel’ before games

Roy Keane was so certain he would get a yellow card from one former Premier League referee that he would tell him to get it over and done with in the tunnel.

The Manchester United icon was not known for keeping his cool on the pitch during his playing career and picked up 69 yellow cards and seven reds across his 366 games in the division – but none coming before the game started, despite his request.

Keane went through his career red cards while appearing on The Overlap's Stick to Football alongside Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Jill Scott, who rather enjoyed discussing his dismissals.

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During a conversation about the referees during his time in the Premier League, Keane mentioned the name of David Elleray, with Neville then asking if the pair had a beef.

Keane replied: "Elleray, was he a school principal at a posh school? He had that look over me, Irish, he was definitely looking down on me.

"I used to say to him: 'Book me in the tunnel before the game starts.' He sent me off three or four times, definitely he was looking down on me. Without a doubt."

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Ian Wright agreed and said he also felt that Elleray looked down on players, as Neville and Jill Scott joked that they had no such issues.

Elleray, an MBE, was a top-flight ref between 1992 and 2003 and has since held roles with FIFA, UEFA and IFAB.

During his career as an official, he handed out 540 yellow cards and 34 dismissals across 197 fixtures in the Premier League. Of the current crop of refs, Robert Jones has handed out the most yellow cards this season with 47 from just nine games.

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On the show, Keane also gave his thoughts on the recent contest between Tottenham and Chelsea in the Premier League – admitting that he didn't enjoy it.

Keane said when asked about the win for Mauricio Pochettino's on his return to Spurs: "Yeah I didn't really enjoy it. I thought it was a bit… there was too much going on. There was too much going on, a couple of sending offs."

When asked what part he didn't enjoy by Neville, Keane added: "I didn't think the quality was that great in the game, listen I know Spurs were up against it, I thought that Chelsea were very average."

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