Pity the horse that has drawn the short straw.
FOOTBALL hardman Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock will attempt to lose a stone in weight over the next seven days so he can take part in Betfair’s Five Horse Race at Kempton Park, London, on Thursday 5 August.
The former Liverpool defender is taking part in the event alongside Ray Parlour, Kerry Dixon, Steve Lomas and David May. The one furlong race highlights the fact that, for the first time in Betfair’s history, the betting points to a five-way Premier League battle, rather than the traditional BIG FOUR showdown. The five players are representing their former clubs, all of whom are 15-1 or shorter to win the title.
However, the 42-year-old’s participation in the event was thrown into the doubt when organisers revealed they had been unable to find a horse capable of carrying ‘Razor’s’ 19-and-a-half-stone frame.
Cruelly dubbed ‘the fattest man in football’, Ruddock has piled on the pounds since quitting the game in 2003. So he must try and ditch some flab to come under starter’s orders.
The portly star, who will be kitted out in XXXL jockey silks, remains undeterred by the fat jibes and is confident he can make the required weight and even believes he can be first past the post come race day.
Neil Ruddock said: “To lose one stone in a week is a big ask. I’ve achieved many things in my career and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll shed the necessary weight so I can jump on my horse ready for the Betfair Five Horse Race to represent Liverpool for one last hurrah. The horse may need some additional training too, but my tactic to lose the timber is simple, a celery diet, bring it on!” (Betfair)
This all sounds like a good bit of fun. We had hoped that Dennis Wise would be one of the willing entrants into the five horse race, the former midfield battler is at least the right size and shape for the job. We will be following Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock’s attempts to lose a stone within a week and will be present at the event to let you know how they all get on. I would have though that Steve Lomas’s wiry frame would make him a decent bet to win the thing but perhaps the former Liverpool defender could pull off something of a shock win. Medics will be on the scene should his horse develop breathing problems mid race.
In all seriousness this is an interesting way to celebrate that fact that we could well have the most keenest fought Premier League season ever and the excessive spending by Roberto Mancini must bring them into the mix as realistic, if something of a long shot, contenders.
Any suggestions for Liverpool legend replacements should the “Razor” not make the fighting weight?
Keep your eyes on www.betfairfootball.co.uk for more news on the Betfair Five Horse Race