Razor Ruddock: I got drunk with Nelson Mandela – and he came back for a second night out!

Nels loved the beers!

Jamie Redknapp Neil Ruddock Nelson Mandela


Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock has plenty of stories from his colourful playing career, involving incidents both on and off the field. For example, his time with Liverpool included a tour of South Africa in 1996 which resulted in a famous meeting with none other than Nelson Mandela.

Speaking to Ruby Walsh and Paddy Power on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Razor recounts the incident which saw the great man drop by for beers with the Reds squad – and then come back again for a second night out!

I went for two nights on the lash with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Well with Nels, actually. You had to call him Nels. “Please, call me Nels”.

So, with Nels, we were in Jo’Burg. We played Kaizer Chiefs and he just turned up, no announcement.

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He turned up, walked into the dressing room. Two or three of us afterwards, we went to the bar after and he was handing out all the Castle beer.

So, we got drunk with Nels that day, then three days later he came down and turned up again. He said, I enjoyed myself so much the other night I’ve come again!

Nelson Mandela 10 Downing Street August 28, 2007

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I told my mum “I’ve been with Nelson Mandela, the world leader”. She said, “what did you talk about?”

I went, “I haven’t got a clue what the f*ck we were talking about”.

It was just like going to the pub with your mates, Sunday afternoon, coming home and your missus going, what did you talk about? You go, I haven’t got a f*cking clue what we’ve been talking about.

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We’ve just been talking about – talking about talk. I don’t know. So, I wasted two nights with Nelson Mandela.

And his drink of choice? Nothing fancy. Castle beers all around.

Then we moved on to black sambuca, and Nels declined the black sambucas.


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