Neil Ruddock tells Soccer AM about his day with Nelson Mandela

Last Updated: 21/12/13 1:48pm

Neil Ruddock told Soccer AM about his meeting with the late, great Nelson Mandela.

"Razor" shared time with the former South African president - who passed away at the age of 95 in early December - when Liverpool travelled to Mandela's homeland in the mid-1990s.

And he revealed that the philanthropist was extremely welcoming to the Reds squad - and even enjoyed a few beverages with the team.

"He cuddled all the boys, put a Liverpool shirt on, and then we went to a bar with him."

Neil Ruddock on Nelson Mandela

"I went on tour to South Africa with Liverpool in 1996 and in one game he casually walked in," Ruddock, who also played for sides including Southampton and Tottenham, said of Mandela.

"He cuddled all the boys, put a Liverpool shirt on, and then we went to a bar with him afterwards.

"He was an icon and a great man but he was so normal, too - he drank lager out of the bottle - so God bless him."


Since his retirement from football, Ruddock has carved out a career as a TV personality and after appearing on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here in 2004, entered the Big Brother house at the start of 2013.

The ex-defender says he found the experience pretty tedious, though he did make a new friend in the shape of onetime X Factor star Rylan Clark.

"My agent rang me up about Big Brother and I said: 'Absolutely no chance' but the then told me they were going to give me x amount and I said: When am I going?'," added Ruddock.

"It was easy; everyone was sitting around talking rubbish and while it was boring, it was just like being in a hotel as a footballer.

"But I did have Rylan, who calls me dad now and even sent me a Father's Day card."

To hear more from Razor, including about the birthday bash he went to on Friday night and how his management of an under-16s football team is going, hit the video above.