In an eye-catching pairing, Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Roddy Doyle is to partner with ex-footballer Roy Keane to write the sportsman's memoir.
Alan Samson, publisher non-fiction at the Orion Publishing Group, bought world rights to The Second Half from Keane, who was advised by Paul Brookes of Grant Thornton UK LLP, and John Sutton of JSM Management on behalf of Roddy Doyle, and in association with Phil Smith of First Artist Management.
The book – to be published this autumn – will blend “memoir and motivational writing in a manner which both disquiets and reassures in Roy Keane's own original voice”.
Samson said: “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.”
Keane said: “I am very happy to be working with Roddy Doyle on this book, and look forward to the experience.”
Doyle said: “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.”
Keane played professional football for 18 years, including for Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. He left the latter club in 2005, and also represented the Republic of Ireland for 14 years, mainly as team captain, until an incident with national coach Mick McCarthy resulted in Keane’s walk-out from the 2002 World Cup.
Since retiring as a player, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich, and is now the assistant manager to the Ireland team.
An earlier memoir Keane: The Autobiography, co-written with Eamon Dunphy, was released by Michael Joseph in 2002 .
Doyle's works include The Commitments (Vintage), Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Vintage), which won the Man Booker Prize in 1993, A Star Called Henry (Vintage) and The Guts (Viking Books).
Roddy Doyle photo by Mark Dixon