Former Birmingham City and Queen Park Rangers striker Rowan Vine has blasted his former teammate Matt Pickens over an incident that left the striker with a broken leg. Vine, now 38, opened up to Jon Parkin and Chris Brown, hosts of the Undr The Cosh podcast regarding the incident which virtually 'ended the striker's career'.
Image credit: Talksport
Speaking on the Undr The Cosh podcast, as well as opening up on the training ground incident which left the striker with a double leg break, Vine also blasted his old boss Steve Bruce. Vine has previously mentioned on the Second Tier Podcast that he "didn't get on with Steve Bruce".
Vine was signed for Steve Bruce's Birmingham for a fee of £3 million after a successful spell at Luton Town where the outspoken striker scored 22 goals in 57 appearances for the club. Vine commented that he was the "fall guy" during his time at Birmingham, in a disappointing spell, despite helping the side get into the Premier League, the striker only made 19 appearances at the club before departing.
Speaking regarding his departure from Birmingham, Vine recalled that he was earning "seven-to-eight grand a week" at the time however, QPR were prepared to offer the striker "eleven thousand pounds" a week to join the club.
However, unfortunately for Vine, Karren Brady, now the Co-Chairman of West Ham United, previously the Managing Director of Birmingham City found out about Rowan Vine's potential wage increase. Rowan Vine was, at the time, refusing to join QPR until he was paid the loyalty bonus that was owed to him by Birmingham City. Brady rang Vine and told him in no uncertain terms that "if you think you are going to be here pick up that 150k (the loyalty bonus which was Rowan Vine was owed), you will be training with the under 10's tomorrow".
Vine admitted that he was around "900 grand short" if he were to agree to sign for Queens Park Rangers without getting his loyalty bonus from Birmingham. Vine eventually ended up getting "180 grand a year signing on fee for five years" when signing for Queens Park Rangers.
However, shortly after signing for Queens Park Rangers, in a deal where the striker was to earn £11,000 a week, as well as a £180k a year loyalty bonus, the striker suffered a horrific leg break in training at the hands of substitute goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Vine stated that he was one of QPR's "best players at the club" before the injury.
Vine has blasted his former teammate and goalkeeper Matt Pickens, who is now a goalkeeping coach for MLS side Nashville SC, stating the leg break was "100% on purpose".
"It was a bizarre sequence of events. It was an open day, we had a game on Saturday and we were nowhere in the league. Matt Pickens was an American kid, only joined in January and was a nice enough kid." Vine recalled.
"He (Matt Pickens) didn't play one minute for the club, the only thing he did (at QPR) was break my leg!" Vine blasts his QPR former teammate.
Vine, looking back at the incident stated that the Pickens was upset with the striker for kicking the ball into the goalkeepers face, leaving the goalkeeper "raging", with Vine admitting the goalkeeper "was having a bad day".
Shortly after the incident, Vine was played through on goal once again against Matt Pickens stating "I was going to dink him. I looked down, planted my left foot, dinked him with the right and looked up and he (Matt Pickens) has hit me just under the knee", causing Vine to summersault into the air.
Vine recalled that he immediately knew his leg was broken with his former teammate and now Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth being "a trained physio", with Ainsworth remarking straight away he knew Vine had broken his leg.
What made it worse for Rowan Vine was the reaction from Matt Pickens, the man who had just broken his leg. Vine recalled that Pickens was stood over him "Roy Keane style" (a reference to the tackle by former Manchester United captain Roy Keane which ended the car of Alf-Inge Haaland), giving Vine a piece of this mind, unloading on the striker with an outrageous X-rated tirade of expletives while the striker lay motionless in shock injured with a broken tibia and fibula.
Vine revealed that Pickens admitted to Vine, while visiting the striker in hospital, that the "red mist has descended" and the goalkeeper had purposely broken his leg.
Matt Pickens left QPR shortly after the incident, failing to make an appearance for a club in England however did manage to have a successful career in America before retiring in 2019. The leg break ruled Vine out of action 12 months, not making his next appearance for the club until a year later. Unfortunately for Vine, the leg break ensured Vine was never able to recapture his fine form from his days at Luton Town. After leaving QPR in 2012, Vine went on to play for 19 different clubs over an eight-year period, including an eventful spell in Scotland for Hibernian where the striker refused to come off the bench in a match against Ross County. Vine is currently player-coach for National League South side Hemel Hempstead.
We hope you enjoyed this article and if you want to listen to the full Undr The Cosh podcast with Rowan Vine, please click on the embedded Spotify link below.
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