Robbie Savage makes Stockport Town debut after eight years out of football

Robbie Savage warming up with Stockport Town
Robbie Savage's previous game was a Championship match for Derby County at Reading in May 2011

Eight years after retiring, Robbie Savage made his footballing comeback with non-league club Stockport Town on Monday.

The former Wales international announced on Sunday that he would be putting his boots back on to play for the Greater Manchester side in the 10th tier of English football.

The 45-year-old came off the bench to play the last 10 minutes of a 3-2 home win against Oswestry Town, who are top of the North West Counties Football League First Division South.

The prospect of Savage making his playing return attracted a crowd of 225 - Stockport Town's highest league attendance in the NWCFL.

The ex-Leicester and Blackburn midfielder is involved with the club's new owner Pro Football Academy, which helps young players to get back into the game after being released by clubs.

Savage was released by Manchester United aged 19 but then signed for Crewe and went on to make 623 professional appearances and win 39 Wales caps between 1994 and 2011.

Town chairman Rob York told BBC Sport that Savage played in defensive midfield and came on to "great applause", before helping his side see out the game.

"Savage managed to get a few telling touches to break up the midfield and used his experience to clear the Stockport lines on a couple of occasions," said York.

"Following the game and the warm down, Savage took time to chat to and have photos taken with the many fans waiting for the opportunity to meet with him."

For a player with 89 Premier League yellow cards, all that was missing from his return was a booking.

Robbie Savage signs an autograph before playing for Stockport Town
Savage signs an autograph before playing for Stockport Town
Robbie Savage warming up with Stockport Town
This was Savage's first non-league game after 623 professional appearances and 39 Wales caps
Programme cover for Stockport Town's game against Oswestry Town
A picture of Savage representing Wales featured on the cover of the match programme
Teamsheet for Stockport Town's game against Oswestry Town
Savage featured on the teamsheet with his full first name. Another former Wales international, Steve Evans, started for Oswestry Town.

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