HE is the footballer away fans love to hate – famed for his crunching tackles and controversial conduct.
Now Wrexham boy Robbie Savage has revealed an unlikely new ambition: to be the next Gary Lineker.
Robbie, a former pupil of Gwersyllt’s Ysgol Bryn Alyn, has carved out an eventful career that has made headlines both on and off the pitch.
But at the age of 35 he is aware that, after years of thrilling fans in the stands, he doesn’t have many seasons left as a player.
The midfielder, currently playing for Derby County, is looking ahead to life after he hangs up his boots for good.
He is keen to establishing himself as a sports broadcaster – and names the former England striker and Match Of The Day presenter as a role model.
He said: “I want to be the next Gary Lineker. I think he’s a fantastic presenter.”
Radio fans will already be aware of Robbie’s ability in front of a microphone as he has been part of the reporting team at a growing number of high profile fixtures, including covering the World Cup in South Africa.
He is also set to be a regular feature of the fans’ phone-in show, 606, on BBC Radio Five Live for the 2010-11 football season.
He told BBC Radio Stoke: “I’m fortunate to be in a position where I’ll be presenting 606! which will be great, but I just want to do as well as I can in any chosen field that I do.”
Robbie’s reputation is as the kind of player his club’s supporters adore and opposition fans dislike intensely.
He holds the record for receiving the most yellow cards in the Premiership and was famously fined for using the referee’s toilet before a match.
But he thinks his performances on the airwaves have led to a change in the way people view him.
He said: “The thing I’m finding hard to accept is that throughout my football career I’ve been hated, and actually with this radio stuff people quite like me.
“If it ever comes to the point where people say ‘you should change the way you are’, I would finish it, because I am me. I do things because I love doing them.
“I know how I’ll be remembered. If you get 12 people around a table in a pub, six will think I’m great and six will think I’m the biggest obscenity you’ve ever met in your life. I’m glad of that.”
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