Mark Clattenburg: I was intimidated by Keane but he wasn’t the worst player to referee

Clatts says he never, ever trusted Keano


Mark Clattenburg has set the record straight about being intimidated by Roy Keane as a referee and recalled how a young Leeds midfielder was one of the nastier players he ever took charge of during his 13-year Premier League career.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Clatts gave his take on Manchester United legend Keane, who had a reputation for getting in the face of officials using his Old Trafford career.

I once made some banter about being scared of Roy. I made a joke about it and then everybody – it went viral. I remember saying that I gave a corner and he screamed at us, so I gave a goal kick.

That was just a bit of fabrication, but you know what? That’s the way he was. He used to shout and scream at you and sometimes you’re like, ‘woah, what’s going on there?’

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Especially when I was a young referee, I was probably a little bit intimidated, but then the more I got to know him, you see a different side of him – especially when he’s working as a pundit.

When he was on the pitch, he was a player that you would never, ever trust because he would put a tackle in and as a referee, if you missed it, you were the one that got the blame – not Roy Keane for actually making the tackle.

Protecting players

You try not to let moaning players affect you, but probably when one gets snapped in a tackle and he’s holding his leg and he’s whinging at you, you’re more likely to say ‘you deserve everything you get, you f*cking whinging tw*t’.

At the end of the day, you can protect players and you can look after players but some players who actually were just downright nasty to you – why would you protect them and look after them?

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The ones that were genuinely nice to you, you probably would look after – and it’s all walks of life isn’t it I suppose. If you get looked after and you’re treated well, then you are going to react differently.

But there was some players in particular, you just didn’t give the 50/50s.

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I remember young Alan Smith when he was coming through at Leeds. He was booked that many times because he was so nasty on the pitch – foul-mouthed and that.

Then when he got older, he probably got less yellow cards because he’d got a bit wiser and started actually buttering the referees up.

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Then when he was buttering them up, he probably was getting away with the 50/50s when in the past, he wasn’t.

I can remember one or two where they’d probably give us some verbals and when they went into a 50/50 ball they weren’t getting looked after by me, that was for sure.

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