John Arne Riise has revealed the truth about what happened on that bizarre night in 2007 when he was attacked by his former teammate Craig Bellamy during his time at Liverpool.
On the eve of Liverpool’s Champions League match against Barcelona, it emerged that Bellamy and Riise had been involved in a fracas and that a golf club had been used.
Incidentally, both Bellamy and Riise scored as the Reds secured a shock 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou. The former memorably celebrated by pretending to swing a golf club.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
A couple of weeks after the incident, Bellamy admitted - per BBC Sport - that he “lost control for a few seconds”.
He then expanded on the incident in his autobiography - per the Mirror - which was released back in 2013.
Riise explains what really happened
Now Riise has explained his version of events - and it sounds like Bellamy was rather fortunate to avoid being punished by the club.
“We were allowed to go out on a team dinner on the last night and I remember Rafa Benitez told us we could have one beer. Some had more than one," Riise was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
“We had a private room in a karaoke bar. Bellamy kept saying: ‘Ginge is going up to sing’. I said: ‘No, I’m not singing. I can do a lot of things but singing is not one of them’.
“Bellamy wouldn’t leave it. I kept saying: ‘No, no, no’, but he kept on annoying me.
“When he grabbed the microphone and said again: ‘Ginge, is coming up to sing’, I went up to his face and told him clearly I wouldn’t be and to stop it.
“I left and went back to my room. I was rooming with Daniel Agger.
“When I heard the key in the door I thought it was Dan coming back but then the lights went on.
“Next thing I saw was a golf club smashing me on my backside.
“I jumped out of bed and was stood in my underwear while Bellamy was there shouting. He just said: ‘9am tomorrow outside my room’. I got there for 8.45am and waited until 9.10am but there was no sign of him.
“At breakfast all the boys were laughing and when Bellamy walked in they were clapping. Of course I thought about reacting. But in the end I just left it.
“Why? I’m not a fighter. Also, I was worried if I did react badly it could be the end of my Liverpool career.”
Bellamy sold a couple of months later
Riise reacted well under the circumstances and went on to play for the Reds for another year before leaving Anfield for AS Roma in 2008.
Bellamy, meanwhile, was an unused substitute for the 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan and would leave Liverpool for West Ham less than two months later.
Should Craig Bellamy have been kicked out of Liverpool after the golf club incident? Have your say by leaving a comment below.