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'I don't know why people listen to him' - Walters shrugs off Keane criticism

1:00 PM EDT 9/7/19
Roy Keane
The former Stoke, Ipswich and Republic of Ireland striker has hit back at the pundit, who singled him out after crying on a recent TV appearance

Former Republic of Ireland forward Jonathan Walters has hit back at criticism from pundit Roy Keane, saying he "doesn’t know why people take any notice" of the retired midfielder.

Keane had singled out Walters for criticism after a recent television appearance.

On Ireland’s Late Late Show, Walters was brought to tears as he spoke openly about the deaths of his mother and brother – something Keane apparently took issue with.

"Listen, I know all about Jon Walters,” the former Manchester United man told Off The Ball. “I know all about him. Bluffer.

“Again, he talks a good game. Then he does the circuit, goes on the TV. How harsh he was treated by me, he's crying on the TV, family situation, he's the only one whose... do me a favour."

Walters retired from football in March this year after struggling with an Achilles injury, following a much-travelled career which brought more than 100 goals at club level and a further 14 for his country.

But there appears to be no love lost between Walters and Keane, who worked together as the latter spent five years as Ireland’s assistant manager between 2013 and 2018.

“Honestly, I don't know why people listen to what he has to say at times,” Walters said on BBC's Football Focus.

“In terms of the route I went down, I didn't particularly want to go on TV and say that.

“It all came from a couple of years ago when I did an interview with Henry Winter and I broke down. He caught me by surprise and I broke down.

“It's something I've never done in my career. Mentally as a player [I was] very tough - but he just got me to another place.

“And on the back of that, there were so many responses that came in. And I had a terrible year last year and someone got wind of it and I got asked to speak about it because of the responses I had previously.

“I went down that route and if someone wants to take it down that route, that's fine, it's up to them.

“But it doesn't bother me one single bit what he has to say. Obviously I bother him a little bit, he doesn't bother me one single bit. I don't know why people take any notice most of the time.”