PAUL MERSON was told to “f*** off” and worried Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock would punch him in an emotional row caught on film over the former Liverpool defender’s health concerns.
England and Arsenal legend Paul Merson won everything possible to win in English football during a scintillating career. He lifted the Premier League with the Gunners, captained Aston Villa, won promotion to the Premier League with Portsmouth and was capped 21 times by the Three Lions. He has also lost more than £7million to gambling in a life troubled by addiction. Merson fronts a new BBC documentary called Paul Merson: Football, Gambling & Me, which airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
In the film, the football icon sets out to understand why his life has been so blighted by gambling and asks if enough is being done to prevent others from befalling the same fate.
However, this is not the first time he has opened up about his demons.
During the second series of Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh, which aired in 2019, Merson spoke about the impacts substance abuse and gambling had had on his own life.
He confided in former Arsenal team-mate David Seaman, and told him that he voluntarily attends Alcoholics Anonymous.
He has been sober for three years now.
Harry’s Heroes brought a squad of former England stars together to try and get them fit for one last hurrah against a team of German legends.
Merson was left devastated when he learned that Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, a former England team-mate and friend since the age of 16, was experiencing heart troubles.
Following a boozy night with fellow England legends, Merson confronted Razor in an interaction that was caught on film. It had emerged shortly beforehand that the popular defender had had a pacemaker fitted.
Razor responded to Merson’s plea to control his drinking: “Don’t shout at me Merse because I’ll get the hump with you.”
Merson replied “you can have the hump with me” before he was interrupted.
Razor raised his voice and said: “I’ll get the hump and I’ll chuck you out of the f***ing door.”
Razor told his friend to “f*** off” and stormed out. The pair immediately reconciled, and Razor later thanked Merson for his support.
Merson told the Daily Star last year: “When I confronted ‘Razor’ Ruddock on Harry’s Heroes about his drinking, I. “Brinkwire Summary News”.