Robbie Savage was a former footballer who now works as a TV football pundit & journalist. He was born in Wrexham, Wales and joined Manchester United as a trainee playing in the famous 1992 Youth cup wining side alongside players such as Beckham, Scholes, Giggs and the Neville brothers, but was eventually given a free transfer by to Crewe in 1994. He went on to play for Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion.
He was also a regular in the Welsh national team, earning 39 caps. In January 2011, he announced on Twitter that he was retiring at the end of the season as a player and quickly established himself as a leading football pundit on BBC Radio Five Live and won The Sony DAB Rising Star Award for his work on 6-O-6.
Robbie was a character on and off the pitch. His midfield playing style was all-action and energetic, regularly collecting yellow cards, with tough tackling and talking. Indeed for a while he 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 past by other players. A controversial player, Savage is loved by fans of teams he plays for and disliked by many others, in part due to his style of play and in part due to several controversial incidents he has been involved in.
He has established himself not only as a pundit but a TV personality, with his autobiography published in August 2011 and in September 2011, he was invited to take part in BBC ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ paired with Ola Jordan. In one dance he performed a dramatic knee-slide towards the camera, which resulted in a broken nose. Robbie left the competition on 4 December 2011, and as such was placed sixth.
Amongst the quotes cited about Robbie Savage in Phil Shaw’s The Book of Football Quotations are:
Alan Birchenall, talking about Robbie Savage: “If brains were chocolate, he wouldn’t have enough to fill a Smartie.”
Martin O’Neill on Robbie Savage: “He looks as if he should be surfing in California, and if there’s one thing that annoys me about him, it’s that tan. We haven’t been to Barbados recently, so he must have been on the sun-bed. As we approach February, I like players to have that drained pale look that I always had at that stage of the season.”
In 2017, the BBC launched the radio show and podcast Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy, featuring Andrew Flintoff, Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed discussing sports’ talking points.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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