Robbie Savage's autobiography secrets: Revealed - my violent tunnel bust-up with Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford
Published 23:00 03/08/10 By Robbie Savage
Robbie Savage has lifted the lid on how punches and kicks flew during a violent tunnel bust-up with Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford.
Fearing action from the FA and Greater Manchester Police, Manchester United and Blackburn officials sought to play down the incident in January 2006.
But the Wales midfielder said: “It was pretty heated in there and I took a real thump to the back of the head.”
Robbie admits he usually manages to duck out of conflict, despite being one of the game’s biggest wind-up merchants.
But that all changed during the Carling Cup semi-final second leg.
Savage revealed: “Brad Friedel had just saved a Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty and a few minutes later I went into a challenge with van Nistelrooy in the bottom corner. To be fair, I tried to nail him.
“He got up and said a few things and then when we ran off at half-time Rio ran 50 yards to barge into me and also had a word.
“Now I’ve always got on well with Rio. He is a great player and a lovely guy. But that day I saw red.
“I chased him into the tunnel and lashed out with my feet. I think I booted him up the bum.
“Then Rio got very aggressive and grabbed me. Before I knew what had happened, out of nowhere all these security guards appeared.
“They pinned me against the side of the tunnel. Then someone hit me from behind - a proper punch to the back of the head - although that one wasn’t Rio.
“The lads piled into the tunnel and there was a lot of yelling. Then the security guards let me go by which time there was a lot of chaos in there.
“But I was ready to stand toe-to-toe with anyone. I always will - I don’t care how big they are.”
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Fergie has said just three words to me since he ended my Man United dream