first_imgNEIL “Razor” Ruddock’s larger than life presence, both on the field and off it, all too often marked him out as one of the game’s eccentrics.However, it belied a genuine talent at the heart of the defence of teams like Southampton, Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham.22 Neil Ruddock enjoyed an action-packed career with clubs including Liverpool, Spurs and West HamCredit: Getty – ContributorBorn in Wandsworth, London, in 1968, Ruddock’s professional career may have lasted 20 years, but it only yielded one trophy, a League Cup with Liverpool in 1995.It was scant reward for a player who, at his peak, was one of the toughest and most committed defenders in the English top flight.He’s got a pugilistic nickname…Ever wondered how Ruddock got his nickname Razor?22 Former Southampton star Ruddock was nicknamed RazorCredit: PA:Empics Sport22 Considered a tough guy back in the day, Ruddock was a committed defenderCredit: Getty Images – Gettylatest football featuresHOUSE OF GODMaradona’s teenage home now a quirky museum made to look like it was in 1978TIM VICKERYCunha’s goals for Hertha Berlin show he can succeed Firmino & Jesus for BrazilMAN THEY’RE BADMan Utd’s worst kits include vintage green and gold shirt & ‘cursed’ greyLewdicrousInside Lewandowski’s £7m flat in Poland with private cinema and a golf simulatorExclusiveTIM VICKERYBarcelona target Martinez stood out as a teen because of his talent and graftGONE TO THE DOGSGrealish, Sterling & Noble among Prem stars protected by £25k guard dogsMALIBU STANArsenal owner Kroenke’s £20m Malibu home where Princess Di was set to move inGROOM-ALDORonaldo’s hairstyles through the years, from blond highlights to tight top knotWell, it all goes back to October 1992 when the heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis fought the American Donovan “Razor” Ruddock at London’s Earl’s Court.When his teammates at Spurs saw the fight, there was only ever going to be one nickname for Ruddock from then on.And so Razor was born.He had no respect for reputations…22 As Peter Beardsley found out, Ruddock didn’t respect reputationsCredit: Hulton Archive – Getty22 Ruddock played for Liverpool during Jamie Redknapp’s Spice Boys eraCredit: Getty Images – GettyTake his relationship with Eric Cantona.When he faced the French legend in Cantona’s post-suspension comeback match in October 1995, Ruddock sneaked over and pulled down his trademark upturned collar, a move that, predictably, sparked a barney.“He said, ‘Come on Fatty, tunnel, tunnel’ and I wanted to kill him,” Ruddock revealed.”I’m walking after him and one of the boys said to me, ‘Actually he’s quite big’. Then there is a doubt in your mind.”22 Ruddock enjoys a tussle with Jurgen KlinsmannCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd22 Ruddock had a second spell with Spurs in the 1992-1993 seasonCredit: Hulton Archive – GettyEnter Reds’ keeper David James.“I said, ‘Cantona wants to fight me’. And David James was like a doorway with a head on. He takes his gloves off and runs after Cantona who runs off.”He’s a bit of a raconteur…Ruddock loves to tell a tale, especially when it involves embarrassing a team-mate.22 Ruddock enjoyed poking fun at Jason McAteerCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd22 His first spell at Spurs came in 1986-1988Credit: Getty – ContributorOne of his favourite victims was his old Liverpool mate Jason McAteer. “He’s not the brightest,” he said. “Not the sharpest tool in the box.”Once, when Ruddock ordered pizzas for them both, he asked McAteer whether he wanted his cut into eight slices or four.“Four please,” came the reply. “I could never eat 8.”He’s still bitter about the 1996 FA Cup Final…22 Ruddock wasn’t picked for the 1996 FA Cup FinalCredit: PA:Empics Sport22 However, Ruddock did win the League Cup a year earlier in 1995Credit: News Group Newspapers LtdWhen he was dropped by then Liverpool boss Roy Evans for the Wembley showpiece in favour of Phil Babb, Ruddock was less than pleased. In fact, it still irks him to this day.“Growing up as a kid, that’s what you live for, innit?” he divulged.“It’s what every kid who plays football wants to do – play in an FA Cup final, and to have that opportunity taken away hurt.”But though Liverpool lost 1-0 to Man Utd that day, it didn’t stop Ruddock from enjoying the day.22 It still hurts Ruddock to this day that he was dropped by manager Roy EvansCredit: PA:Empics Sport22 Ruddock always enjoyed larking aroundCredit: News Group Newspapers LtdLater that night, he and Stan Collymore, dressed in their infamous white ‘Spice Boys’ Armani suits, hit London’s West End and even scaled the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus where Ruddock slipped his jacket over the landmark.“I thought she looked cold,” he explained.He fancies himself as a bit of a crooner…After his stint in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Ruddock teamed up with his fellow campmates, Peter Andre, Mike Read and Lord Brocket to form the group the Jungle Boys.22 When he retired, Ruddock appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!Credit: News Group Newspapers LtdThey released a charity single, ‘Jungle Rock’, too. And yes, it as bad as it sounds.Ruddock has also appeared on Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes in April 2006 where he came through the famous doors as Neil Diamond and sang Song Sung Blue.He lost to Del Dingle from Emmerdale who took the honours with her portrayal of Lulu.He was married to the late Pete Burns for a week…22 Ruddock fancied himself as a crooner and also appeared on Celebrity Stars In Their EyesCredit: PA:Press AssociationWhen Ruddock appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, his wife Leah got to spend a week with the Dead Or Alive singer’s partner Michael, while Ruddock had to shack up with Burns.His conclusion? “Pete Burns just isn’t my type,” he joked.“I know you shouldn’t knock it til you’ve tried it, but I prefer the blonde with small lips.”He’s struggled with money since he retired from playing…22 A messy divorce left Ruddock virtually skintIn 2011, after a messy divorce, Ruddock faced bankruptcy and he’s still finding it difficult to get by.”I’ve lost money because of my ex-wife and kids,” he said at the time.“Not all of it but most of it. My advice is, don’t get divorced. Don’t get caught with your trousers down.”Three years later, he also appeared on the Channel 5 programme Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away! where he was confronted by baillifs seeking £3,000 he owed to a local dogs kennels.22 Ruddock is still struggling financiallyCredit: PA:Press AssociationAnd to think he used to earn £10,000 a week too.He liked a tipple or two…One of the main reasons that Ruddock’s first marriage collapsed was his drinking.The defender battled the booze for years and his increasingly frequent binges finally helped to put paid to his relationship with Sarah.22 Hardman Ruddock struggled with boozeCredit: Reuters22 Ruddock admitted he’d go on drinking sessions that lasted daysCredit: PA:Press Associationmost read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for him“I’d go on benders for three days,” he recalled. “When you’re that drunk you can end up risking your life.“I’m ­surprised I didn’t have an ­accident and die. I’d wake up and wonder how I got there. It’s scary to think about. I feel lucky I got through it.”Thankfully, a 30-day stint in rehab helped Ruddock get a handle on his drinking – even though it was too late to save his marriage.He wasn’t just a bruiser…22 Ruddock played his one and only game for England in 1994Credit: Getty Images – Getty22 Ruddock starred in England’s 1-0 win over NigeriaCredit: PA:Empics Sport22 He marshalled the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Finidi George and Jay Jay Okocha with easeCredit: PA:Empics SportDespite all the jibes and brickbats about his playing style, Ruddock still managed to win international recognition.Not only did he won four caps for England Under-21s and captain the England B team, but he also won a single cap for the full team when he was picked by Terry Venables for the game against Nigeria in November 1994.He did well too, keeping the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Finidi George and Jay Jay Okocha quiet as England ran out 1-0 winners.Yet he never played for his country again.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *