Robbie Savage is a Welsh football pundit and former player. During his career he played predominantly as a midfielder, starting off as a youth player with Manchester United before joining Crewe Alexandra when he failed to make the grade at Old Trafford.
He became a regular for Leicester City in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and performed a similar role for Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers. In 2008, he joined Derby County; after a short loan spell with Brighton & Hove Albion later that year, he returned to captain Derby, with whom he finished his playing career.
He also played for the Wales national team on 39 occasions. He is now a pundit for the BBC and regularly presents 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday evenings alongside Darren Fletcher.
Savage gained notoriety for his playing style; in 2008, the Daily Mail labelled him as the dirtiest player in Premier League history, based on numbers of yellow cards received, though his record has since been overtaken.
Savage’s style as a midfield player was all-action and energetic, and he regularly collected yellow cards, and for a while held the dubious distinction of being awarded the most yellow cards of any Premiership player in the league’s history – 89, although he has now been overtaken by Lee Bowyer, Kevin Davies and Paul Scholes.
A controversial player, Savage is loved by fans of teams he plays for and hated by many others, in part due to his style of play and in part due to several controversial incidents he has been involved in. Fans of Aston Villa, Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal have accused him of simulation, whether to win a set piece or to get an opponent red carded.
Having made his senior international debut in 1995 after just a few appearances in Division Two for Crewe, Savage retired from international football in September 2005 having attained 39 caps, saying he wished to concentrate on his club career.
However, many people believe the reason he quit was due to a spat with Wales manager John Toshack. Savage did give the explanation that “John Toshack said it was my way or the highway – well I’m on the M56.”
On 6 March 2006, he appeared on Welsh radio, partaking in a debate with pundit Leighton James over his exclusion from the Welsh squad. Early in his international career he clashed with former Wales manager Bobby Gould when he jokingly threw a replica of Paolo Maldini’s shirt into a disposal bin before a match against Italy.
Savage was initially dropped by Gould from the squad only to be reinstated the next day.
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Thanks for the note. Robbie was really good on the panel – he was eloquent and opened up about his experiences. Robbie did all that we asked of him.
Jo Hart, Marketing Manager, Jewson