Neil Ruddock’s hard-hitting autobiography contains a plethora of entertaining stories and personal insights into some of the most colourful characters in football, including Terry Venables, Alan Sugar, Harry Redknapp, Julian Dicks and Vinnie Jones.
‘Razor’ Ruddock has had a chequered career since he left school at sixteen to sign for his local club, Millwall, where he came under the tutelage of George Graham and was a team-mate of Teddy Sheringham.
Two years later he got his big break at Southampton, refining a reputation as a tough defender and a player not be messed with. Ruddock recalls some fascinating dressing room stories at the Den, including those involving a then young Saints striker, Alan Shearer.
Spurs boss Terry Venables paid £2 million to bring Ruddock to White Hart Lane, but a bust-up with Alan Sugar after Venables’ departure meant his days at the club were numbered. In 1993 Graeme Souness persuaded him north to join Liverpool; Ruddock recalls his fluctuating fortunes as he struggled with a weight problem and found life far from easy during his five years at the Merseyside club, a period that included long spells in the reserves and a return to London on loan to QPR .
Now a rejuvenated Ruddock finds himself at Upton Park, in partnership with the likes of Wright, Ferdinand, eager to prove that, at 30, he has experienced life at the top and bottom but has plenty to offer the Hammers. His autobiography reflects the man himself: tough, uncompromising but full of humour and dressing room insight.
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Not to be messed with.
That's Neil Ruddock.
One League Cup winners' medal and a solitary England cap are not much to show for his wholehearted efforts for his five clubs to date – Millwall, Tottenham, Southampton, Liverpool and West Ham. Yet Ruddock has gained the respect of managers and fans of all his former clubs for his never-say-die attitude and the fact that he has never given less than one hundred percent.
There have been occasions, of course, when this level of commitment has taken him over the edge. From the moment he was involved in a drunken brawl as a young Millwall player to his arrest after a Christmas party at West Ham, controversy has never been far away. In between times he has given his detractors plenty of ammunition; like when he ran fifty yards to headbutt an opponent; when he broke both Andy Cole's legs in a reserve game for Liverpool; or the time he took the law into his own hands when team-mate Robbie Fowler 'got a bit lippy and needed a slap'.
But beneath this tough exterior and uncompromising attitude is a player who lives life to the full and then beyond. Ruddock has played under some of the greatest managers in George Graham, Terry Venables and Kenny Dalglish, and with some of England's finest footballers – Glenn Hoddle, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Ian Wright. And he has plenty of stories to tell about them all…and much more.
Now fully established at West Ham as a senior pro, Razor Ruddock continues to extract every ounce of enjoyment from a career that has straddled both the highs and the lows. It's a story that makes for fascinating reading.About the Author:
Dave Smith, co-writer on this book with Neil Ruddock, was editor of Shoot magazine until 1997. He now works as a freelance match reporter and has been involved with the setting up and development of ‘Football 365’, a dedicated soccer web site on the internet. He has co-written autobiographies with Trevor Steven, Dave Beasant and Gary Stevens, and is the author of several soccer coaching and fitness books.
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Book Description HarperCollins UK, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. illustrated edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002189097