Ex-Liverpool man reveals Cantona wanted fight over collar prank

Joe Williams
Neil Ruddock Eric Cantona Manchester United Liverpool

Former Liverpool defender Neil Ruddock has revealed how he wound up ex-Manchester United striker Eric Cantona to the point that he wanted a fight in the Old Trafford tunnel.

Ruddock, who played 115 times for Liverpool, used to put Cantona’s collar down when the Frenchman used to like wearing them up.

And in one match between Liverpool and Manchester United, Ruddock has claimed that Cantona got so annoyed he offered to fight him in the tunnel.

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Ruddock said: “Eric Cantona used to wear his collars up, and I used to turn his collars down just to put him off.

“He just wanted to fight me then, he didn’t want to play football, he called me a fat b****** and said I’ll fight you in ‘le tunnel’. To be fair, he was bigger than me, and I was a bit panicky.

“So, after the game – I kept doing it, he kicked me up the a***, he tried to elbow me, and saying ‘le tunnel, le tunnel’.

“At the final whistle, he shot off to the tunnel at the Stretford End. Of course, I’m walking after him, and I’m getting closer to him and I’m thinking, f*** me, he is quite big.

“I started doubting myself thinking, he is quite big. Then David James come and stood next to me, and Cantona’s effing and blinding.

“I’m looking to David James saying, ‘you going to let him get away with that?’ And David James, who was about 7ft 10ins, chased Eric Cantona up the tunnel.

“I get to the tunnel and I’m going, where’s that French t***? I was going to tear his head off! Lucky enough, he retired after that season, so I never played against him again, thank f***.

“It’s in one of Fergie’s books, that the most Cantona used to get wound up was when he played against me.”