Wayne Bridge has revealed how a team-mate had his goalkeeping gloves set alight during a Portsmouth vs Southampton reserve team clash.
It might not be as glamorous as the Merseyside derby, but when one of the fiercest rivalries in English football will be renewed tonight in the Carabao Cup.
Born and bred in Southampton, Bridge knows just how intense the rivalry can be despite never getting the chance to take them on in a senior south coast derby.
For the ex-Saints left-back once played in a reserve match and watched things get wildly out of hand before later being abused by Pompey supporters after moving to Chelsea.
“I know there is a lot of hatred from Pompey because I’ve been on the receiving end of it,” he told Paddy Power News.
“It really is a mad derby. I remember one reserve game. Scott Bevan was in goal. It was only a reserve game, but someone jumped on the pitch and lit his spare pair of gloves alight!
It is big, they literally just hate each other.
Trouble is never far away whenever these two sides meet. After beating Saints in 2004, Portsmouth fans took to rioting on their own streets and running battles with police led to several injuries and eight arrests.
The hatred between the sides is so intense that Bridge joked friendships are often put to one side.
TV hardman Ant Middleton is a close pal, but their relationship almost led to a run-in with a passionate Pompey supporter.
“Ant Middleton’s brother came to pick me up one day and he had his friend in the car who was a Pompey fan,” Bridge added.
“He was like ‘is he really sitting in the car? Are we not going to put him in the boot?’
“After we spent a bit of time together, he thought I was alright, but he was still worried what his friends might think.”
The two sides have not been in the same division for seven years leaving Bournemouth as Saints’ closest rivals. However, Bridge was having none of it when asked about that and insists Pompey is the proper derby.
“You’ve got Bournemouth down there and they also give me abuse,” he said. “But I always thought that was really weird. I never understood that one.”