Razor Ruddock: How the West Ham Christmas party got me banned from Romford

Harry Redknapp had to do some wheeling and dealing with the local police.



Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock is well known for his antics both on and off the pitch, but one particular Christmas party during his time at West Ham left him unable to train with the team due to a police ruling – much to the anger of his manager at the time Harry Redknapp.

Ruby Walsh and Paddy Power welcomed Razor as the star guest on this week’s episode of our ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ podcast and it’s really was a can’t miss edition. Given the time of year, the controversial subject of footballer’s Christmas parties cropped up during the show with Razor and he revealed he got himself into big trouble with the local police while at the Hammers in the late 90s. Being the great storyteller that he is, we’ll let Razor take up the story:

During the first Christmas party at West Ham I got arrested. There was a bit of an argy bargy, and I was the one that got arrested. I went to court and I got banned from Romford. But, the problem was, West Ham trained in Romford!

I wasn’t allowed to train for two weeks. Harry Redknapp was going absolutely mad!

Harry went to see the chief of police, and he must have given him a couple of season tickets or something, so they changed the ban to after 7pm at night so I could train in the mornings. Bear in mind, about three months later he kicked me out to Crystal Palace anyway, so it didn’t really matter.

These were always unofficial Christmas parties. The clubs didn’t know what we were doing. The first one I remember was when I was 18 at Millwall. I just took the role of the social secretary, and it was all down to me. To be fair, I used to earn a few bob out of it as well.

I used to pocket it because they used to give me all the money for the meal and the drinks. I used to get away with hundreds and I loved it! That’s basically why I used to do it, because I used to nick loads of money off my mates.

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Liverpool had the best parties

The Liverpool Christmas party was a very famous fancy-dress party and the bar bill was a lot higher than anywhere else I played. That’s because whatever club you go to, the more older players there are, the higher the bill. The younger players stay to bottles and stuff, and all that. But the older generation like to have a brandy.

“Oh, I think I’ll have a Louis XIII brandy”, they used to say.

The older the gentleman, the more drunk they get! They think they’re pop stars and film stars, and start drinking stupid stuff they’d never have in their lives.


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