Former Premier League star reveals why he attacked his teammate with a golf club

Former Premier League footballer Craig Bellamy has revealed the astonishing details about the time he attacked his former teammate with a golf club.

Former Premier League star reveals why he attacked his teammate with a golf club

Fans of Premier League football will be well aware of the exploits of former player and massive golf fan Craig Bellamy. 

The former Wales striker is perhaps one of the most infamous characters in the league's history. 

During a career that spanned between 1996 and 2014, Bellamy was involved in some moments on and off the pitch that will be remembered forever. 

Bellamy has been up front about some of his past and present issues. He was diagnosed with depression in 2020 and in April this year said he was bankrupt. 

In an interview with BBC Sport, he told his story of failed investments and warned other young pros to be careful about where they put their money. 

One of the most incredible tales involves an altercation he had whilst playing for Liverpool before a vital Champions League match against Barcelona in 2007. 

Bellamy scored in that game and celebrated by pretending to swing a golf club. 

Why he did so was because of a truly remarkable story that involved his teammate John Arne Riise. 

Riise referenced what happened at the Barringtons Golf and Spa hotel in his autobiography Running Man. 

We haven't heard Bellamy's side of the story. Until now. The Welshman appeared on Sky Sports' The Overlap where he detailed what happened. 

Bellamy said: "We were going to play Barcelona in the Champions League. So we went to Portugal for the training camp which is not uncommon. Towards the end of it, we were allowed a night out – but before that, we trained, and we played golf.

"It was me, Robbie Fowler and John Arne Riise. Steve Finnan was with us as well. I questioned some of his [Riise's] golf shots or where I felt the ball ended up. There were certain areas where I felt I’d seen it go somewhere and it ended up in a much better position. I said to Finney ‘he’s cheating’.

"During the night, we had a few drinks, and then it was karaoke songs … He [Riise] had to sing a song because we had a Christmas do, and he didn't turn up – he said he was going back to Norway. We found out he didn't go back to Norway, so his song was part of his punishment by the captain.

"I told him that he's got to sing, and he's dead against it. When someone's dead against something and doesn't want to do it, I want to push it more – 'you have to'.

"Then it keeps going back and forth, until he said, 'I'm not f—king singing and stop trying to f—king make me'. Steve Finnan and I were sharing a room, we go back and I told him 'I'm not having that.' I asked Steve what [golf] club he had that he didn't like, and he said his 8-iron. So, I took it with me and said, 'I’m going to go find him.'"

He continued:

"I knocked on his [Riise's] door, no answer, I knocked on the door again and he leaves it on the latch …. I came in, turned the light on, swore a hell of a lot at him. I smacked him across the legs … Then he got into the corner, got the sheets and bedding around him, and I said, 'if you ever speak to me like that in front of people again, I'm telling you now …'."

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For his part, Riise wrote in his book: "I was so pumped with adrenaline that I didn't feel the pain, but he hit me hard. It was an iron.

"The next blow smashed into my thigh. I tried to hold up the sheet, but he continued to strike. He could seriously injure me. At the same time, I knew I could take Bellamy if I needed to. I was bigger and stronger. 

"Finnan stood by the door. Maybe he was there to stop Bellamy if it got too bad, but he was short and skinny. He wouldn't have stood a chance once I made my mind up. However, I knew that if I responded to Bellamy's attack, my career at Liverpool would be over.

"I tried to calm him down: 'Put down the club and let's fight with our fists. Come on! A proper fight!' 

"He just stood and glowered at me. Then he said: 'Tomorrow at nine o'clock we'll meet and finish this.' Then he left."

Riise said he went to Bellamy's room the next morning but he wasn't there. He said his teammates had heard about what had happened and were 'sniggering' in training. 

He continued: "One of our team-mates had attacked me and could have ended my career. Why did nobody challenge him about it? But they must have thought that this was a private matter between Bellamy and me.

"I felt like knocking him out. I would have been justified in giving him a pounding but I had too much respect for [manager, Rafael] Benítez and the team. We were about to play an important match. There was enough commotion as it was.

"Bellamy apologised but only when he was more or less forced to by the manager. He ended up with an £80,000 fine. I received no punishment, contrary to the reports of some journalists."

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