Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand in radio rant

The 73-year-old reacted furiously to claims that players should tone down their celebrations, after Rio Ferdinand was struck in the face with a coin during the Manchester derby

Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand embarked upon a furious radio rant when faced with the question as to whether players should tone down their celebrations in order to avoid provoking opposition supporters.

The interview came in the wake of Sunday’s Manchester derby, during which United’s Rio Ferdinand suffered a cut to his eye caused by a coin thrown from the crowd amidst the celebrations of Robin van Persie’s winner.

And when asked whether some players were responsible for aggravating opposition fans by celebrating intentionally in front of them, Crerand reacted with anger, although he appeared to mis-interpret the question as asking whether fans should tone down celebrations.

"Who said that? That is ridiculous," he said on BBC Radio Five Live. "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?"

The 73-year-old even asked the show’s presenter whether the suggestion was “a publicity stunt”, prompting another presenter to interject and clarify the question. And Crerand leapt to defend Rio Ferdinand against any suggestion that he was responsible for celebrating in front of City fans.

"Rio Ferdinand was nowhere near where the home fans were,” he continued.

“He gets struck by a coin that someone has thrown from about 15 or 20 yards, it wasn't as if he was standing in front of their supporters jumping up and down."