Neil Ruddock 'died for a minute' during emergency heart operation

Neil Ruddock at the PFA Player of the Year Awards 2010 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. (Photo by Jon Buckle - PA Images via Getty Images)

Neil 'Razor' Ruddock has described the moment his heart stopped leaving him "dead for a minute" on the operating table.

The former footballer underwent a heart operation after a medical exam taken ahead of his appearance on ITV show Harry's Heroes found his resting heart rate to be 130 beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60-100 bpm.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday morning with wife Leah, the 52-year-old discussed how he was left "clinically dead" before a third shock to his heart revived it.

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He shared: “They basically had to stop my heart and give me the shock you see on telly… it kicked back in after the third time. They said I was dead for a minute.

Neil Ruddock appeared with wife Leah on Good Morning Britain. (ITV)

“I was a big drinker, I’m a lad’s lad, I always thought nothing would happen to me. It was a kick up the backside. It was lucky the Harry’s Heroes show was on, as I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor. I was always a happy go lucky chap thinking nothing would happen to me. It was a big shock to me.”

The sportsman's spouse added that the star had considerably cut down on his drinking as they focused on consuming "organic produce".

Ruddock, who now has a pacemaker fitted, also told the presenters how old friend Robbie Williams had reached out to support him after hearing about his health troubles.

Ex footballer Neil Ruddock spoke about the large quantities of alcohol he used to consume. (Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images)

“We were best of friends back in the 90s. Then he moved to LA and we lost touch. I think he found out what I had been going through, he got in touch and he rang me. We had a Zoom call for ten minutes, which lasted about an hour and a half because he doesn’t stop talking. He was just worried about me.

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“The best thing about it is that I’m going to LA soon, he’s invited us to go and see him and spend some time with his family and sort of be my counsellor, so to speak,” he shared.

Ruddock has been married to his wife for 15 years and the pair share two young daughters, Pebbles and Kizzy. He has two older children, Millie and Joshua, from his first marriage to ex-wife Sarah.