Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock established a formidable reputation as a tough tackling, no-nonsense defender during his time in the English top-flight. The rugged centre-back, who enjoyed success at Southampton, Tottenham and Liverpool, played on the edge and often found himself on the wrong side of referees during his career.
Speaking to Ruby Walsh and Paddy Power on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruddock had no problem recalling his least favourite official but surprisingly had a soft spot for one of the men in black after an honest admission.
There was one disgraceful referee that I remember. He was a fella called Roger Milford. I was at Southampton, we were playing Arsenal and he’d done something.
So, I’d gone up to him shouting: “Roge, Roge, you’re having a f*cking nightmare. You – f*cking hell, you’re having a nightmare you tw*t”, and all this.
So he went: “Come here, son”. So, I went up to Roge. He had a curly perm, Roge. Tanned – his shorts up.
He said, “Look at the scoreboard. You’re getting beat 3-1. Now, I believe you’re the c*** that’s having a nightmare. Now f*ck off.”
The best one was little Brian Hill, God bless him, Brian Hill.
He was only about five foot four, and he’d done something, so I’ve gone running up to him saying “Brian, Brian, you’re having a nightmare, that wasn’t a foul” and all that.
He went: “Yeah, sorry mate, I got it wrong.”
I thought “F*ck, what do you say now?” You know what I mean? A referee – he admitted it. He admitted he got something wrong.
I’m like “Oh”. That f*cked you up, that did. What can I say now? I can’t have a go at him.
First time ever a referee admitted something they got wrong was little Brian Hill. But they were good refs. You could talk to them.
I think they’ve got a tough job now, it’s got a lot tougher – at least in my day you could have a laugh.
They’d tell you to f*ck off – and you’d have one free one. You could smash someone bad and the referee would go “Right, that’s your one. Next time, you’re in the book”.
You’re getting sent off for that free one now. Game’s gone.
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