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Signing for Birmingham City came as a shock to Villa fans – but Yorke’s spell at the Blues included one of the most controversial incidents of his career.

He netted just two goals in 13 games.

But the most upsetting part of his time with relegation-threatened Blues came when he returned to former club Blackburn Rovers.

Warming up as a substitute at Ewood Park, racist abuse was hurled at Yorke by the Blackburn fans.

Angry, hurt and insulted, the striker looked for support from Blues bosses.

But he claimed he was let down by Birmingham City owner David Sullivan who said the incident was blown out of proportion and was ‘not the crime of the century’.

Yorke revealed: “I took great exception to one of the Birmingham owners, David Sullivan, claiming in interviews with the media that I had made too much of the incident.

“I had never met this guy but I could not believe that he had voiced such an ignorant and insensitive opinion.

“I was told that I should take no heed of it by Brucey (Steve Bruce), but I was disgusted by his attitude. What the hell did he know about it?”

David Sullivan refused to comment.

Stan Collymore talked the talk but didn't deliver - Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke made many close friends in football and only failed to get on with one player – Stan Collymore.

Villa manager Brian Little signed the Cannock-born striker from Liverpool in 1997 for a club record £7 million fee.

But ‘Stan The Man’ went on to score just seven league goals in 46 appearances – a poor return which Yorke put down to a bad attitude.

“I never had any issues with my team-mates throughout my Villa days, save for one,” he said.

“Stan Collymore disappointed me, I’m afraid.

‘‘He certainly had talent, no-one could deny that, but there were rumours that he could be a bit moody.

‘‘Stan’s arrival brought an unsettling tension to the team. He had left Liverpool, undoubtedly a bigger club, and to me gave the impression that he could swan into Villa and just take over the place.

“We saw someone who was basing his authority at the club and inside the dressing room on reputation alone. And that’s how it stayed.

“We never saw Stan deliver anything on the pitch with any consistency that warranted his big attitude around the place.

“He talked a great game which he rarely, if ever, delivered and to me that simply wasn’t acceptable.”

When Collymore signed, Yorke had just finished as the club’s top scorer for the second year running.

But the formidable partnership that Little had hoped for never materialised and the Cannock striker, who has suffered with depression, eventually left the club for Leicester in 2000.

Yorke said: ‘‘Stan was troubled at the time and had his own issues. And who knows if that contributed to what seemed to me like a bad attitude. But I found it hard to bear.’’