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Former footballer Robbie Savage, 45, has reflected on a traumatic experience he shared with Harry Redknapp, 73, Paul Ince, 52, and Steve Sidwell, 37, when their friend and fellow pundit Glenn Hoddle suffered a cardiac arrest on his 61st birthday in 2018. Robbie and Harry were celebrating the occasion with Glenn on the former’s BT Sport show Saturday Morning Savage at the time.
Robbie had planned an I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! themed challenge for the programme in light of news that Harry would be going into the ITV show’s famous Australian jungle.
However, the sportsman explained in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk about his campaign with Santander UK to raise awareness of Safe Account Scams, that the day which began with fun celebrations ended in “near heartbreak” when Glenn was “stretchered out” of the studios.
Opening up about the “frightening” day, Robbie recalled: “We obviously knew that Harry was going into the jungle so it was a surreal day that day.
“A day I’ll never forget, because the show had started, we gave Glenn Hoddle his birthday cake live and then we went to do the jungle scene, where there was this big snake, and I’m petrified of snakes, and I was holding it. And we’d all seen Harry Redknapp’s reactions, Glenn’s reactions, and Steve also.
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“And Harry was amazing on the jungle, what a great man, so that was a test for him to see if he could cope in the jungle and he went on to win, because of his personality and his love affair with his wife [Sandra Redknapp] – was beautiful to see.”
“I just hope my relationship is like that with my wife when I get to that stage, it was just amazing and what a great guy,” Robbie added.
The Leicester City legend continued: “But the day ended in such sadness when Glenn Hoddle had his cardiac arrest that same day.
“So when the day started with fun and laughs, it ended with near heartbreak for us all to witness Glenn having a cardiac arrest and getting rushed to hospital.”
Fortunately, Robbie went on to say Glenn has now made a “full recovery” following his heart attack.
He added: “Thankfully now Glenn has made a full recovery, which we’re all so delighted about.
“It was such a surreal day which I’ll never forget, where it started with the laughs and the jokes and ended with the pictures of Glenn getting stretchered out to the hospital so thankfully Glenn’s made a great recovery, great man, and Harry went on to win the jungle, so it’s a day I’ll never forget.”
Robbie admitted he can still “picture” the former England manager and player fighting for his life to this day, explaining: “It was frightening, it was scary to see a friend and an icon, a wonderful player, to be fighting for his life was absolutely so scary and so emotional.
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“Tears and sadness and I can picture it now, but we’ve got a great friendship myself and Glenn and I spoke to him last week on Zoom doing the podcast and he was in great form.”
Elsewhere, Robbie has made a move from football into acting by recreating Margot Robbie’s iconic bathtub scene from The Big Short, to raise awareness of how to prevent Safe Account Scams with Santander.
Speaking about why he wanted to get involved with the campaign, the star revealed: “I just think in these unprecedented times where lots of people have been furloughed, it’s really important that Santander and this campaign protects people’s money and raises awareness of Safe Account Scams.
“Some can be ringing you up, I’ve had a couple especially in this time pretending to be the bank and then transferring your money to not the bank you think. I think it’s essential in these times that Santander and this campaign protects people’s money from the Safe Account Scams, which is very worrying.
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“My mother is 72 and obviously she’s not very tech minded or online minded at all and I’ve been able to help her as well through this campaign, ‘If anyone rings you up mum, put the phone down and ring me straight away’, because people are very vulnerable at the minute.”
Robbie also addressed his “weird” experience on set filming the campaign in a hot tub with a glass of champagne.
He recalled: “It was weird. Santander were great to work with and all of the production crew, they were very patient.
“I’m not an actor and I had to act and it was quite embarrassing at times because I’m not reading an autocue and there were some difficult words in there.
“It was great fun and I’m looking forward to it coming out and to see myself recreating Margot Robbie’s scene. I’ve seen the first trailer of it and they’ve done exceptionally well.”
Robbie Savage is working with Santander UK to raise awareness of Safe Account Scams. To learn more, attend a virtual class on scam awareness at www.santanderevents.co.uk.
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