Neil Ruddock on Harry’s Heroes: ‘I was really struggling’

Neil Ruddock in Harry's Heroes

50-year-old Neil Ruddock was in for some nasty surprises in the ITV show, which starts tonight

Football star Neil Ruddock has revealed the torture of trying to get back into shape for ITV’s new documentary Harry’s Heroes: The Full English.

The 50-year-old former Tottenham and Liverpool player joins the likes of John Barnes, David Seaman, Chris Waddle and Matt Le Tissier as Harry Redknapp attempts to prepare the team of legends for a game against the Germans.

But Neil, aka Razor Ruddock, reveals suddenly training again was a big shock to his system.

“I found out through the process of getting fit again that I’ve got to have a full knee reconstruction. I was really struggling training like the other lads, we all had our set weekly training we had to do, but I couldn’t do it, the only thing I could do was swim.”

harrys heroes

Neil Ruddock and the boys had a bit of work to do to get back in shape!

And Neil says the training methods used today in football are remarkably different to what was going on in his day.

“We used to have a lot of 5- asides, it was just all 5- asides, it was just if you had the ball you would score the goals, score more than they do and you win the game. The diet scheme was the biggest thing to change, I mean we didn’t have dietitians and in 1994, we didn’t have a physio.

“If you were injured you'd just put a bit of ice on it. If you needed to lose weight you would wear a black sack under your kit, you'd used to sweat 6 pound off, but you'd drink 7 pounds of water back on.

“So learning how to eat well and working out how your body works, you’ve just got to find out yourself.”

But for Neil, who had a great time seeing his footy mates again, all the hard work paid off and he feels in much better shape now.

“I lost a lot of weight, with all the training I probably put 11 pound of muscle on, I think I only lost a couple pound, about 3 pounds I think.

“When I started I couldn’t do two lengths of the swimming pool, now I bang out 30 lengths, not a problem. I just didn’t realise how badly I was struggling with that.”

Harry’s Heroes, featuring Neil Ruddock, starts tonight on ITV at 9pm.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!