Sporting Intelligence
FeaturesMelting potEXCLUSIVE: Robbie Savage, pussycat, by the author who’s been inside his mind

EXCLUSIVE: Robbie Savage, pussycat, by the author who’s been inside his mind

by

*

Robbie Savage started life as a professional footballer with Manchester United and then, like so many others, changed career trains at Crewe. He’s never been a shrinking violet, and his candid autobiography, published this week, is typically honest. Yet as his co-writer Janine Self explains here today for the first time, ‘Sav’ is actually a pussycat with a heart of gold – he just doesn’t want anyone to know

.

.

By Janine Self

2 August 2010

The search for a suitable sobriquet is over by the surname. Savage. A two-syllable spit of a word, fittingly often delivered with a shower of saliva.

Quite frankly, the choice of title for Robbie Savage’s life story was a no-brainer. The Derby County captain, once of Manchester United, Crewe, Leicester, Birmingham, Blackburn – and Wales  – has spent most of his waking hours winding up someone about something.

So ‘SAVAGE!’ it is, complete with cover photo (below) of the combative midfielder looking wild-eyed, pumped full of, er, savagery, having just manipulated the sending off of Tottenham’s Justin Edinburgh in the 1999 League Cup final.

Hate figure Robbie Savage is behaving hatefully. He is quite happy to admit to it too, which is one of his most endearing qualities.

Endearing qualities? Sharp intake of breath. Sorry guys, but that really annoying pain in the butt is actually a real sweetie-pie. Eau Savage, in fact.

And if you don’t believe me, then I suggest asking Robbie’s fabulous Mum, Val, who is waaaaay more frightening than her younger son. Only joking, Mrs S.

Last December, Robbie and I started on Project Savage thanks to the negotiating powers of Stephen Lownsbrough of Blacks Solicitors in Leeds and a deal with Mainstream Publishing.

In effect Robbie talked while I listened and made notes; and, if everything went according to plan, the words which came out the other end would pretty much echo the North Walian tones of the co-author.

Then Robbie had a brainwave. To get to know him better, why didn’t I drive up to Wrexham to meet his parents and see where he lived and grew up?

That’s how I found myself sitting in Val and Colin’s immaculate lounge, drinking tea, looking at family photos and hearing all about Robert and his older brother Jonathan.

Colin tragically suffers from Pick’s Disease, a degenerative brain condition, which is why Robbie is donating a percentage of his proceeds of the book to the Alzheimer’s Society.

He sat, smiling, while Val spoke long and lovingly about her two boys. Robert – he’ll always be Robert to his Mum – may have been a Premier League big-hitter but he has equal status with engineer sibling Jonathan.

The house is a three-bedroom semi in a quiet cul-de-sac. It is where Robbie grew up. He has offered to move them to a bigger place but they are not interested. They are surrounded by friends.

Val recalls the day that Robbie became a Premier League footballer, the day he joined Leicester after falling out with Crewe. This is where it gets interesting.

In his book, Robbie tells the story of celebrating his elevation to the top flight by rushing out to buy a pink  Porsche. He goes cruising in Chester, dressed in trademark white clobber, and the engine blows leaving Robbie covered in  black oil and looking a bit of a plonker.

What Sav does not reveal is what else he did on the day he became a Premier League footballer. I’ll hand over to Mrs S.

“I’ll never forget the day he signed for Leicester. I was waiting for him to come home and I  suddenly heard this loud noise outside the house. I looked out and there was Robert in this pink Porsche!

“You could hear it miles away. He came in and I said: ‘What have you done now, Robert?’

“Then he handed me an envelope and added ‘And here’s something for you’.

“I opened it up and it was a lifetime timeshare to a place on the shores of Loch Lomond. Colin and I used to go there every year for our holiday. That was typical Robert.”

It’s not a story that makes the book – Robbie has a bad-boy reputation to keep up, after all.

But I know, for a fact, that Mr Marmite man has, over the years, handed over all his column fees to his parents.

His beloved grandmother has also benefitted. Robbie arranged to have Sky installed so that Nan could watch her grandson in action and lecture him about his tally of yellow cards.

The flamboyant, oft-criticised Sav is now very much a media darling. 5Live, ESPN, Match of the Day Two and more.

He dines out on a reputation of Mr Nasty. But there are 20,000 or so Twitter followers out there who think @robbiesavage8 is all right, really.

So do I.

.

SAVAGE! by Robbie Savage and Janine Self, published by Mainstream, price £17.99. Out on 5 August 2010.

Buy your copy now: Savage!: The Robbie Savage Autobiography

.

To WIN a copy of sportingintelligence’s global sports salaries report, worth £195, CLICK HERE; the report tells you the REAL average pay of the world’s biggest sports team, AND we’ll also give you a free subscription for a year to our unique sports salaries database

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Share/Bookmark

leave a reply

Contact us

Sporting Intelligence PO Box 26676 Helensburgh, G84 4DT United Kingdom

+44 7444 463430

Nick@sportingintelligence.com

LATEST FEATURES

  • GSSS 2018
  • How Giroud tops Vardy, and why Arsenal fail to spend
  • ‘Rio spectacular? I was in dire need of Wogan or Clive James’
  • ‘Watching Budd reunite with nemesis Decker … Yes. I nearly lost it’

FOLLOW US

Back to Top
Clean
Last scanned on:
2013-05-28 11:34:43