Luke Chadwick exposes his harrowing first training experience with Roy Keane: It was ‘Terrifying’

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Picture this: you’re a fresh-faced teenager making your debut at a training session with the biggest football club in the world. The stars that fill your television screen are now your teammates. And there stands the legendary Roy Keane, and your job is to impress him. Welcome to the world of Luke Chadwick.

Chadwick, born on 18th November 1980, began his career at Manchester United where he made 25 Premier League appearances in four seasons. The talented midfielder had an intimidating task to displace one of the greats – Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham. His career journey also took him to Reading, Burnley, West Ham United, Stoke City, Norwich City and Milton Keynes Dons before he finally landed at Cambridge United, the club he supported as a child.

Throughout his career, Chadwick demonstrated immense talent and work ethic, but he was often sidelined due to injuries. Despite the physical pain he suffered, the young lad never let it dampen his spirit. He continued to work hard and was respected in every team that he played for.

Luke Chadwick and Roy Keane tussling with Liverpool’s Michael Owen

In an interview with FourFourTwo, Chadwick recalled his first training session with the Manchester United first team, a memory that still brings a chuckle to him today. “I remember my first training session with the first team,” Chadwick said. “I was on Roy’s team, and I gave the ball away a couple of times. He told me in no uncertain terms that my performance wasn’t up to standard.”

Chadwick admitted that he was terrified of Keane’s outburst. “I was thinking, ‘F**k, I’ve blown it now’. When we went inside after training, I expected another bollocking from him – I was so nervous,” he recalled.

However, to Chadwick’s surprise, Keane pulled him aside after the session. Rather than giving him another earful, Keane explained that there was a level he expected from everyone. It didn’t matter whether it was Chadwick, Giggs or Beckham. “He was intimidating – terrifying, even – but he was the ultimate captain. He would be so supportive during games. He looked out for us on the pitch. If we gave everything, then he would fight for every last one of us,” Chadwick added.

Luke now owns the Football Fun Factory

His time with Manchester United came to an end in 2004, but Chadwick’s journey in the world of football was far from over. In total, he played over 500 professional games in his career.

Post-retirement, Chadwick continued to make waves in the football world. He signed up for the Isthmian League Division One North side Soham Town Rangers in November 2015. He then moved into coaching, bringing his vast experience to Cambridge United’s academy, nurturing the next generation of footballers.

Currently, he owns a business called the Football Fun Factory which is a centre where kids can play football related games such as foot darts. I genuinely want to go, it looks like a lot of fun!

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