In news that is initially startling, then kind of begins to make sense the more you think about it, until you think about it for long enough and circle back round to ‘no, this is mad’, novelist and playwright Roddy Doyle is apparently working on the latest volume of memoirs by footballer, manager, TV pundit and excellent swearer Roy Keane.
Keane published Keane: The Autobiography in 2002, co-authored with Eamon Dunphy (himself a former footballer turned journalist), and has also been the subject of a couple of biographies – Frank Worrell’s Red Man Walking, Stafford Hildred and Tim Ewbank’s Portrait of a Legend – as has his late dog, in Paul Howard’s parodic Triggs: The Autobiography. He is presently assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland.
Doyle is the author of numerous lauded short stories, a BAFTA-winning screenplay, ten novels – two of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, one of which, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, actually won it in 1993 – and is a Royal Society of Literature Fellow. He is, in other words, A Proper Writer, of the sort that usually wouldn’t touch a footballer’s memoir with a comically oversized quill (though it should also be pointed out that, like Keane, Doyle is a really excellent swearer).
Speaking of his involvement with Keane, Doyle offers an illustrative anecdote: ‘Ten years ago I was buying something in a shop in New York and I handed my credit card to the young African man behind the counter. He read Bank of Ireland on the card, looked at me and said: ‘Ireland – Roy Keane.’ I’m delighted to be writing this book with Roy.’
The book – to be titled The Second Half – is due for publication from Orion this coming autumn. Orion’s Alan Samson says: ‘I believe The Second Half will become a benchmark for sports autobiography. The combination of an outstanding player – and leader – like Roy with a writer of Roddy’s extraordinary gifts should result in one of the books of the year.’
We eagerly await word of Ryan Giggs’ collaboration with Philip Roth.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.