Being a Liverpool legend Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock was never going to have Manchester United players and a certain iconic manager on his Christmas card list, but he also went to great lengths to wind them up in his playing days and thankfully, he’s willing to tell us the tale!
Razor joined Ruby Walsh and Paddy Power as a very special guest on this week’s edition of our ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ podcast and it’s an episode you won’t want to miss. On the show Razor regaled us with some fantastic stories, one of which included his entanglement with the great Eric Cantona when Liverpool battled it out with bitter rivals Manchester United in the Premier League back in 1995.
Along with getting on the wrong side of the great Frenchman, Razor also got into it with Sir Alex Ferguson and even christened him with a nickname that had Man United players chuckling afterwards. We couldn’t do justice to the story, so we’ll let the great man take it up in his own words:
Eric Cantona used to wear his collars up, and I used to turn them down just to put him off when I played against him. He just wanted to fight me then, he didn’t want to play football and he called me “fat”.
He said: “you fat b**tard, I’ll fight you in the tunnel”.
But, after the game I kept doing it and he kicked me up the arse. He tried to elbow me too, and was saying “le tunnel, le tunnel”. In this game he scored in the last minute with a penalty and he jumped around the wooden thing behind the goal at Old Trafford. So, we drew 2-2 and he shot off to the tunnel at the Stretford End.
Of course, I’m walking after him. I get closer to him and I’m thinking, ‘f**k me, he is quite big’ and I started doubting myself. Then David James came and stood next to me while Cantona is effing and blinding. So, I’m looking at David James saying, “are you going to let him get away with that”, and James – who was about 7ft 10’ – chased Eric Cantona up the tunnel. So, I get to the tunnel and I’m going, “where’s that French t**t? I was going to f**king tear his head off. “
Lucky enough, he retired after that season and I never played against him again, thank f**k!
Fergie flare up
Fergie said in one of his books that the most Cantona used to get wound up was when he played against me. I had a barney with Fergie once. I kicked Mark Hughes on the halfway line at Old Trafford and Fergie came running.
I said, “f**k off, Taggart”.
I remember Bryan Robson coming up to me during the game saying, “that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard”. But, you used to come out of the changing rooms at Old Trafford and you had to turn right to go to the bath. Fergie’s office was halfway up the way there, so I used to s**t myself walking up through there in case he’d come out and get me.
Thankfully, I’ve never really been close to him enough after I called him ‘Taggart’. He wasn’t even my manager, but it was like going to school and keeping out the way of the headmaster with Fergie.
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