'I waited outside Bellamy's door but he never showed' - John Arne Riise on infamous 'golf club' bust-up
The pair clashed after the Norwegian left-back refused to take part in a karaoke session
John Arne Riise has spoken out about his infamous bust-up with Craig Bellamy nine years ago, which ended with the former Liverpool left-back being hit with a golf club.
The pair clashed while team-mates at Anfield in February 2007, ahead of the club’s Champions League knockout-phase tie against Barcelona.
Riise’s refusal to join in with a karaoke session fell afoul of Bellamy, who later attacked the Norwegian in his hotel room.
“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 recalled while speaking to the Liverpool Echo.
“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.”
Most of these details came out in the immediate aftermatch of the incident but Riise has now revealed that he attempted to confront Bellamy the morning after the incident.
“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 on 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.”
The pair put their differences aside and scored a goal each in Liverpool’s subsequent 2-0 win over Barcelona, who were the reigning European champions at the time.
Bellamy even went as far as to celebrate his strike by swinging an imaginary golf club.
(© Independent News Service)