West Ham’s Big Brother


NR goialFollowing his departure from the Celebrity Big Brother house, Forever West Ham looks back on the claret and blue career of Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock


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In July 1998 Ruddock moved to West Ham United for a fee of £300,000 making his debut on 15 August 1998 in a 1-0 away win against Sheffield Wednesday. In 56 games for West Ham he scored three goals, was booked 14 times and sent-off once, in December 1998, in a 4-0 away defeat to Leeds United, for a dangerous tackle on Harry Kewell.


Never one to shy away from a tackle or a bit of handbags, Ruddock was known to wind up opposing players and it was this aspect to his game that got Patrick Vieira in trouble. In October 1999 whilst playing for us, Ruddock was involved in a bust-up with the Arsenal midfielder which ended up with Vieira receiving a six-match ban and a £30,000 fine after spitting at Ruddock after some verbal sparring between the two.


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Ruddock was often criticised but it needs to be remembered that he played his part when we finished fifth in the Premier League in the 199-2000 season – our highest finish for 13 years and qualified for the UEFA Cup to end a 19-year absence from European competitions.



Ruddock also helped to give us one of our funniest and most memorable goal celebrations. A week prior to our meeting with Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday’s Paolo Di Canio had been sent off for pushing referee Paul Alcock to the floor. So when Ian Wright scored for us, he ran off to find Neil Ruddock, pretended to show him a card, and then tumbled back to the ground having been pushing in the chest. Comedy gold!



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