Stephen Ireland's 'Dead Grandmother' Makes Case for Grandson to Roy Keane

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVMarch 27, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Stephen Ireland of Stoke City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on February 22, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The infamous "dead grandmother" of Ireland international and Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland has returned the the headlines again. 

One of Ireland's grandmothers—both of whom he claimed passed away to get out of international duty to care to his girlfriend, who had suffered from a miscarriage—had a chance run-in with Ireland assistant coach Roy Keane on a flight to County Cork. 

So what'd the very-much-alive grandmother Ireland ask of Keane? To recall her son to the Ireland squad, of course. 

Ireland hasn't appeared for Ireland since September 2007. 

Keane, describing the encounter, told the Irish Independent (via BBC): 

Well, I spoke with the grandmother this morning—she was on the flight coming over—and she asked me would he get back involved. 

I couldn't lie to her. I said he'd have a chance if he's playing well. I think Martin (O'Neill) had a conversation with him, and all that needs to fall into place. 

We all know how talented Stephen is and Martin will look at that. We wouldn't be shutting the door on any player. 

What is important for any player, and Stephen is the same, is it does help to be playing week-in, week-out. 

He's obviously had a difficult spell. He's only just got a run of games at Stoke now. So I certainly wouldn't be ruling anyone out.