Football has lost a lot of characters over the years thanks to a much more professional outlook from most clubs and also the way in which the game has moved on.
Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock was a fearsome defender in his time, and was often not given the credit that he deserved.
Renowned for playing practical jokes on team-mates and others, however, he took things too far on one occasion when Liverpool were due to play in a tournament in South Africa.
Pitching up at Heathrow, Razor had obviously availed himself of some alcohol before getting ready to board the flight.
According to the Daily Star, when asked by the check-in desk attendant if he had anything in his bags, he thought he would have some fun.
“She looked like she was game for a laugh so I thought I’d give it a go. ‘Just a couple of Uzis, oh yes, and about 30 hand grenades.’
“At that moment, the woman I thought was game for a laugh quickly reached under her desk and hit a button. As she did, I had a feeling my joke might not have been taken as such.
“First of all a siren started that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Blitz, lights were flashing everywhere, and a very loud voice came over the Tannoy, ‘EVACUATE TERMINAL NOW. EVACUATE TERMINAL NOW. DO NOT TAKE YOUR LUGGAGE. EMERGENCY.
“I was surrounded by 10 armed police officers and told to get on my knees and put my hands behind my head.
“A few minutes ago there’d been about 4,000 people all about to go on holiday and now all that was left was their luggage, scattered all over the place.
“It was then that the enormity of what I’d done started to hit home.
“I started saying ‘I promise. I’m not a terrorist. I’m a footballer. I’m really sorry’.”
Though Razor’s actions may have been seen as amusing at the time, it’s precisely this kind of boorish behaviour that has to be eradicated from the game.