'You bully everyone in the club but I'm not scared of you, let's have it me and you' - Walters on moment he and Keane almost fought at Town
PUBLISHED: 12:55 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:55 10 September 2019
Former Ipswich Town star Jon Walters has revealed the moment he and ex-Blues boss Roy Keane almost fought in the latter's Ipswich Town office as the dispute between the pair deepens.
Walters was talking on the 'Liquid Football' podcast on Joe, after Keane mocked him last week during an interview in Dublin for talking about the death of his mother at the age of 11 and the loss of his brother last year.
Keane said: "On TV, crying about his family situation. You know, how about lying low for a while, taking it easy. Have a look at his medals? Wouldn't take long.
"Ironically two or three years ago when his career was coming to the end, he went on loan, he went to Ipswich on loan. I was laughing my head off."
But Walters said that Keane doesn't bother him.
He said: "I'll tell you one thing about the man - he doesn't get to me one bit. I'm possibly the only one that stood up to him, more than once. I think that's what bothers him most maybe.
I really don't know why people pay attention. Why they get that worried by Roy. Because, yes, he was a good player - an unbelievable player - known as a hard man on the pitch.
"But there's a difference between being a hard man on the pitch and being a tough guy. Just because someone has a sharp tongue or a stare, doesn't make them a tough guy.
"My brother-in-law was a Marine commando, went to war, he's a tough guy. They're the people you say are tough guys, not Roy. So that's why I was never scared as a player."
Walters recounted an incident which saw him fined two weeks' wages when the duo were at Ipswich, and very nearly come to blows in Keane's office.
He said: "I went in the office, I'd been asking to leave because Premier League clubs had come in for me and I was 26/27 and I thought I'd never get the chance again.
"I'd asked him a couple of weeks before and he'd said 'if a Premier League club comes in for you, you can go, no problem.'
"So I knocked (on his door again) and said 'can I go?' because I knew that clubs had put bids in. You're not meant to know, but you know.
"And he sat down and, as he does, he switched. He said 'I'll tell you when you can go, basically when they meet our valuation, had a little pop and I just told him to f**k off.
"The stare came out, the eyes, and he just said 'who do you think you're speaking to?' I'd lost my head at the time, so I said 'I'm speaking to you.'
"He got up, took his watch off, took his jumper off and, if you don't know, that basically means you're going to be fighting.
"We've gone head to head. This is childish, ten years ago, this is not me now. But because I don't like bullies, the way it's gone, I'd stand up to them.
"So I was like, 'come on then, let's have a fight, if you want to go for it, let's go, hit me, hit me, he's gone 'you hit me' and we've gone back and forth. (I said) you bully everyone in the club, you bully the staff and the players, but I'm not scared of you, let's have it me and you.'
"So we've gone head to head, 'hit me, you hit me' and then it wasn't happening so I've gone to walk out the room.
"As I've gone, he said something very personal, something that's nothing to do with him, but it's touched a nerve with me. So I've shut the door behind me and come back in.
"I've said basically that - 'it's got nothing to do with you, come on then, let's have it. Hit me first and see what happens to you, just give me the chance, I'll rip your head off' that's what I was basically saying to him.
"I'd gone by then, I'd switched, and once again we went back and forth for a bit. Then he says to me 'you're not going to hit me because I'll have you arrested if you hit me.'
"I knew I had him then. When you stand up to a bully, and you get 'I'll have you arrested if you hit me in this work place' so I said 'ok then, well I'll go meet you outside somewhere, call me tonight and I'll come and meet you.'
And he's come back with 'ooooh you're going to meet me in the middle of a field with your mates and ambush me?'
So I said 'no, I'll come to your house and while all your family are there and whoever else, me and you, I'm on me own, I don't care, I'll meet you there' and I've walked out.
"I've gone and trained, told I could leave the club, driving by on the way home with me agent Paul Warhurst and I'm telling him the story and Roy rings him, doesn't know I'm in the car.
"He's gone 'are you Jon Walters' agent? He's on loud speaker, and he goes 'tell your client if he says anything about me, I'll sue him for everything he's got.'
"We're just giggling away to ourselves and he hangs up. I've gone to meet other clubs because they've given me permission to speak to Stoke, and a couple of days later a fine comes through the post of two weeks' wages.
"The fine says - and I've still got the letter - 'after our meeting in my office, I find it unacceptable that you threatened to carry out physical violence outside of club premises, if there was witnesses I'd look to take criminal proceedings or civil proceedings against you.
"That's what made me laugh, at the end of the interview he did the other day, he said to everyone, 'yeah, Jon threatened to come to my house and I gave my address and I'm still waiting.'
"I just thought, why are you lying? Don't lie - I got to him, I got into his head. I don't claim to be a tough guy, I just stand up to people that try and bully people and do what's right."