Roy Sabine had been putting in some outstanding performances in for amateurs Low Moor as well as playing for Yorkshire Amateurs and captaining the English amateur under 19 side. Not surprisingly he came to the attention of many professional clubs and in fact had signed for trials with Halifax. Keighley Chairman John Smallwood, tipped off by Sabine’s neighbour Bill Shreeve, arranged a meeting with Roy and snapped him up right away from under the nose of Halifax. Sabine scored a try on his debut in September 1958 against a Castleford side featuring fellow debutante, Alan Hardisty. In the next game away at Halifax Roy scored a hat-trick of tries in the 22-9 victory over the Thrum Hallers underlining to Halifax what they had missed out on. During the next eight seasons, mostly at stand-off but a few times at centre, Roy played in 179 matches scoring 46 tries.
His career for Keighley, however, was interrupted by National Service in the Army in which Roy played for the Duke Of Wellington’s regimental team who became Army champions two years running. After his return to Lawkholme and the 13-a-side code Roy became an integral part of the 1962-3 Division Two promotion winning side.
He made two appearances for Yorkshire in 1963, one of them against the Australian touring team in which Roy sustained an injury that cost him his Great Britain call up against the Aussies. Further Injury ended Roy’s playing career at Keighley in 1966 retiring on doctor’s orders. Roy, however returned to the club in 1975 as coach with the colts but playing in a further eight games for the first team. Moving up to coach the first team he went on to take the club to the memorable Challenge Cup semi-final at Fartown in 1976 when Keighley lost to the eventual winners St.Helens. Roy finally left the club in October 1977.