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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Linfield furious over Keane book
Linfield players celebrate after winning last season's Irish Cup
Linfield say many Catholics have played for the club
Irish League football club Linfield are considering legal advice in the wake of comments made by Roy Keane in his autobiography.

Linfield officials are unhappy at claims by Keane that the club did not sign a Catholic until shortly before a 1993 World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


This misinformation is complete nonsense
Linfield chairman Billy McCoubrey

"For the first time in its history, Linfield signed a Catholic, a decision that caused much controversy," stated Keane in his book.

"The player, who was also black - another major problem for Linfield's bigoted supporters - didn't last long (nor did the manager who signed him)."

However, Linfield chairman Billy McCoubrey has described Keane's comments on his club as "outrageous and unfounded".

"Some of our most respected players going back as far as the 1940s and '50s, were Catholics," said McCoubrey.

"In more recent times, we have signed many Catholics so I don't know where all this misinformation is coming from".

McCoubrey said that the player in question - Tony Coly - had been treated "like an idol" at Windsor Park after he was signed in 1988.

"Roy Coyle, our manager at the time, signed Coly and another black player at that time and got full backing from the club to do so.

"Coly, is still a hero among the Linfield support for the outstanding service he gave the club - and he was signed five years before the international Roy Keane is talking about.

Billy McCoubrey says Linfield have signed many Catholics over the past 50 years
Linfield chairman Billy McCoubrey is angry

"The senior officers of the club will look through the text and then hand it onto our legal advisers for further instruction."

Former Linfield boss Coyle, who now manages Glentoran, has already said that he will consult his lawyers following Keane's claims.

Keane's book, which was ghost-written by Irish journalist Eamon Dunphy, has caused a storm of controversy.

Most notable was the Manchester United star's admission that he sought revenge on Manchester City defender Alfe Inge Haaland in a game last year.

The grudge related to a previous incident regarding the two players - and the tackle resulted in a serious injury for Haaland.

Both Haaland and Manchester City, are now considering legal action against Keane.

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 ON THIS STORY
Linfield chairman Billy McCoubrey
"This book is a disgrace"
Roy Keane faces a three-match suspension for his red card at Sunderland

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