Roy Keane stayed 'cool and calm' during alleged assault despite 'hardman persona', Micah Richards tells court

Micah Richards has told a court that former Manchester United player Roy Keane stayed "cool" and "calm" after allegedly being assaulted, despite his "hardman persona".

Richards, a Sky Sports TV pundit, told Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Friday that he "grappled" with a man accused of headbutting Keane, 52, inside Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in September.

Scott Law, 43, from Waltham Abbey in Essex, denies alleged common assault on Keane, following Arsenal's 3-1 victory over United.

Ex-Manchester City star Richards, who was working with Keane at the Premier League match, said he was in "disbelief" about the incident and "felt sorry for Roy", whom he called a friend.

The 35-year-old said "you wouldn't get sent off" for CCTV footage, shown in court, that Law's defence team alleged showed Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

Richards also denied accusations by Law's defence barrister that he had claimed to see the headbutt because he was "Roy's mate" and had become the Irishman's "stooge" and "puppy".

'He was physically shaken up'

Richards said: "I felt sorry for Roy. Just because of the fact you've come to work, to do your job and you've been assaulted.

"I could see he was physically shaken up. You do what any friend would do, or any colleague, step in and try to help the situation."

He added: "It was a surreal moment. We weren't going to a UFC match. We were at work."

Following the match last year, footage was widely shared on social media of the former England defender Richards stepping in to calm an apparent confrontation.

Discussing the aftermath of the incident, Richards said: "I grappled with the gentleman for a while.

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"I believe I was saying to him: 'What have you done that for?'

"I sort of grabbed him and pushed him towards further out of the corridor. I was basically trying to restrain him until security could deal with the matter."

'You have become Roy Keane's stooge'

Richards said his Sky Sports colleague was "cool" and "calm" in the aftermath of the incident.

He added: "I know he's got this persona of being the hardman, but my relationship with Roy - we get on so well because he's such a great guy.

"He was cool, he was calm in this situation".

Defence barrister Charles Sherrard KC alleged Richards had not seen any headbutt and had instead claimed to see it as "Roy's mate" and his "puppy", adding: "You have become Roy Keane's stooge."

Mr Richards, who smiled as he entered the court, replied: "Strongly disagree."

The trial continues.