Roy Keane accused of 'gratuitous violence' in clash with Arsenal fan after 'headbutt'

Roy Keane accused of 'gratuitous violence' in clash with Arsenal fan after 'headbutt'

This is the moment Roy Keane is accused of throwing an elbow at an Arsenal fan’s nose in an alleged bout of “gratuitous violence”, moments after the Manchester United legend says he was assaulted.

Scott Law, 43, is on trial for allegedly assaulting Keane in the corridors of the Emirates Stadium, in the closing stages of United’s Premier League clash with Arsenal in September last year.

It is said Law rushed to confront Keane after a last-minute VAR decision went in Arsenal’s favour, and allegedly knocked the former Ireland international backwards through a set of doors with a headbutt.

But Law says he was rushing to the toilet instead, and only used his head in self-defence when Keane came at him, repeatedly calling him a “fatty”.

He says Keane’s fearsome reputation as a violent “hard man” meant, in that moment, he feared attack from the Sky Sports pundit.

The chaotic aftermath of the alleged headbutt was caught on camera, showing Law walking away with Keane and his fellow Sky pundit Micah Richards in pursuit.

Law’s legal team have enhanced the CCTV footage and presented a slow motion clip to the trial, arguing it shows Keane throwing an “upper cut elbow” at Law’s nose.

Defence barrister Charles Sherrard KC suggested “the red mist descended” for Keane when the VAR decision went against his former team, and he was taunted by rival Arsenal fans.

“You chose to confront him”, said Mr Sherrard. “When you saw him, you said ‘say it to my face you fat c***’.”

Keane replied: “I said that when I was at work? Disagree.”

Mr Sherrard suggested Keane is then seen on camera using “gratuitous violence” by throwing his elbow and “smashing his nose”.

Keane said the clip shows him trying to stop Law from leaving the scene, but Mr Sherrard asked: “How are you stopping someone getting away with an elbow to the face?”

Keane replied: “I’ve got bags in my hands, I was trying to grab him, to stop him from getting out.

“I must have said nine or ten times, someone call the police. I’m trying tostop him from leaving.”

The clip shows former Manchester City and Aston Villa defender Richards grabbing hold of Law, before eventually letting him go.

The court has heard Richards was heard saying: “Are you crazy? Are you f***ing mad? Say sorry.”

Later, he reportedly said: “Someone needs to arrest him, he’s just assaulted Roy Keane, don’t let him go.”

Richards is expected to appear in court on Friday to give his evidence.

The alleged assault was not caught on camera, and Law is set to argue that he moved his head forward in a “pre-emptive strike” when Keane came towards him.

Keane was quizzed about notorious incidents during his playing career, including his record 13 red cards, a stamp on Gareth Southgate, and a horror tackle on Manchester City midfielder Alfie-Inge Haaland in a Manchester derby in 2001.

“I was sent off a few times, unfortunately”, Keane told the court. “I also had bad referees.”

Keane insisted he had never intended to injure a player, and he said a quote from his first autobiography suggesting the incident involving Haaland was a “revenge tackle” was not written or approved by him.

“The autobiography was ghost-written - I didn’t say them words”, he said.

In his second autobiography, Keane wrote that he “did want to nail” Haaland. Faced with the quote, he told the court: “There is a difference between hurting someone and injuring them - 100 per cent.

“Players know when you go into tackles, when you are physical and hit someone, there’s a good chance you are going to get hurt. Injured is different.”

Keane said “every game is a battle”, and added: “That was the game I was in - people hurt me, and I have to hurt people.

“When you are playing in the middle of the park, you are going to get hurt.”

He denied “glorying” in his tough reputation, and insisted he had neverreferred to himself as a “hard man”.

“If you could get a quote that I’m a hard man, I will listen to it”, he told Mr Sherrard.

The alleged assault on Keane happened when the match was 1-1, after goals from Marcus Rashford and Martin Odegaard, and an 87th minute strike by Alejandro Garnacho had been ruled out for offside after a VAR review. Arsenal then went on to dramatically win the match with two goals in injury time.

Law is accused of making an “obscene gesture” towards the Sky Studio, where Keane had been providing TV analysis alongside Richards, before leaving his seat allegedly intent on confronting the former Manchester United captain.

“I couldn’t believe it”, said Keane. “I just felt the contact, and I’ve fallen back through some doors.”

He added: “I didn’t expect that to happen, not when I was in the workplace.”

Law, who lives in Waltham Abbey in Essex, denies assault. The trial continues.