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Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand was involved in a remarkable outburst on BBC radio on Monday, reacting furiously to claims that Rio Ferdinand may have provoked Manchester City fans with his celebrations at the end of the derby.

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Ferdinand was left bleeding after being hit by a coin in the wake of Robin van Persie's late winner at the Etihad Stadium, while a Manchester City supporter also came on the pitch to approach the centre-back but was held off by goalkeeper Joe Hart.

It was put to Crerand, who won the 1968 European Cup with United and now works for their MUTV channel, on BBC Radio Five Live that Ferdinand may have stoked the flames but the Scot was infuriated by the claims.

"Who said that? That is ridiculous,'' Crerand raged. "What planet do they live on? That is absolute garbage. How many people have phoned you up? One, two, three? How many? Why make a statement like that if you haven't got (the number of listeners) to hand...if you haven't got the evidence?''

Asked to respond to the suggestion that Ferdinand could have provoked the attacks, Crerand added: "I think the point is absolutely ludicrous.''

At one point Crerand asked interviewer Chris Warburton: "Is this a publicity stunt? Ask me a sensible question and don't talk stupid, asking me daft questions about whether fans should celebrate or not.''

Warburton's co-presenter Rachel Burden interjected to suggest to Crerand that there may have been a misunderstanding of the question that had been asked but the 73-year-old continued to be angered.


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