WATN - Robbie Savage
Savage first started playing football as a striker. At the age of 11 he had broken the all time Wrexham and District goal scoring record by scoring 74 goals in 28 games while playing for Llay United. From there he went to play for Bradley Youth, which is where he was asked to join Crewe's School of Excellence.
While at the school he was spotted by a Manchester United scout and asked to attend a trial there. Savage impressed on his trial and eventually signed for United in 1988 just before his 14th birthday. Whilst in the Manchester United youth team he played alongside other future footballing stars including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and went on to win the Youth Cup with them in 1992. However in July 1994 Savage was released by Manchester United after a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson.
On the way home from this meeting Savage was involved in a car accident and ended up in hospital. While recovering in hospital Savage received a call from Crewe manager Dario Gradi which resulted in him signing for the Alex later in the month.
In Robbie`s first season with the Railwaymen he started 6 games and scored 2 goals. Savage became a regular in the first team in the following season where he started 30 games and scored 7 goals. This was the season where the Alex reached the playoffs but failed to gain promotion after being beaten by Britsol Rovers.
In the 96-97 season Savage again was an integral part of the Alex team with him starting 41 games and netting once. This was the season where the Railwaymen gained promotion to Division 1 (Now the Championship) through the playoffs after beating Brentford 1-0 at Wembley.
In total Robbie made 77 appearances for Crewe and scored 10 goals. After the successful promotion season Savage left Gresty Road along with a host of other players. In July 2007 he went to join Martin O'Neill at Premiership side Leicester City for an initial fee of around £400,000.
Savage made his debut for Leicester in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, coming on as a second half substitute. He stayed at Filbert Street for 5 years making 172 appearances for the Foxes and scoring 8 goals. In 2000 he won the League Cup with Leicester in a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers.
When Leicester were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2001-2002 season he transferred to newly promoted Birmingham City for a fee of £1,250,000. He played 34 games for the Blues in his first season, which was only beaten by Jeff Kenna's 39. In total Savage played 82 league games for Birmingham and scoring 11 goals.
In the January transfer window in 2005 Savage handed in a written transfer request. This prompted Blackburn Rovers to pay a fee of around £3m for his services. In March 2005 Robbie announced his international retirement from the Welsh squad stating that he wanted to concentrate on his club career, even though it was thought to be due to a feud with Wales manager John Toshack. Savage had collected 2 goals in his international career in 39 appearances for Wales.
Savage had several big injuries during his time at Blackburn including a broken leg and a knee injury requiring corrective surgery. On his return from injury he found it hard to get back into the starting 11.
In this years January transfer window Savage opted to join Derby County in a move that cost them around £1.5m, on a 2 and a half year contract. Robbie`s debut was a 0-1 home defeat against Wigan. In this match he was given the responsibility of captain and has kept the captaincy since the departure of Matt Oakley to Leicester City.
The signing of Robbie Savage seemed to split the Derby fans, but with his work rate and commitment which has made him popular with all of the teams he`s played for he is sure to be a hit. Savage has currently made 5 appearances for the rams while wearing the number 44 shirt.