- This article is about the former football player. For the medieval philosopher, see Richard Rufus of Cornwall.
|Full name||Richard Raymond Rufus|
|Date of birth||12 January 1975|
|Place of birth||Lewisham, London, England|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in nearby Lewisham, Rufus progressed through the youth system at The Valley, making his debut for the club as a teenager in 1994 at the age of 19. He was later called up to represent the England U21 team.
His most memorable moment for Charlton came at the end of the 1997–98 season. Charlton, having finished fourth in the First Division, were facing Sunderland in the play-off final at Wembley. With five minutes of normal time remaining, Charlton were losing 2–3 before Rufus scored his first ever senior goal from a corner, forcing the game into extra-time. After the resulting 4–4 draw, the Addicks went on to win the game 7–6 on penalties, thus gaining promotion into the Premier League.
Despite being sent off in his first Premier League game against Newcastle United, Rufus developed into a key player in Charlton's ultimately unsuccessful bid to avoid relegation. He remained with the club and enjoyed a very productive 1999–2000 season scoring six goals and helping Charlton to win the First Division title. Back in the Premier League, Charlton were far more successful and remained in top flight with ease. Rufus was tipped several times to become an England player, but Sven-Göran Eriksson never chose him.
Starting in 2001, Rufus began to suffer a series of injury setbacks. He missed half of the 2001–02 season and the end of the 2002–03 season. He underwent a series of knee operations in 2003 and at one stage looked to have returned to first time reckoning, having appeared on the bench for a League Cup game against Luton Town. He was, however, forced to have another operation done by Richard Steadman. The operation was unsuccessful, and he was forced to retire from football in 2004 at the age of 29. His final competitive appearance for the club came against Liverpool on 21 April 2003.
In his decade in Charlton's first team, he was regarded as one of the team's most important players. This was recognised by three player of the year awards and in 2005 he was voted by fans as Charlton's greatest ever defender. Since retiring, Rufus, a born again Christian, has been involved with plenty of charity work, alongside friends and fellow Christian footballers Darren Moore and Linvoy Primus, as well as occasionally doing punditry work.
In May 2013, Rufus was inducted into the Charlton Athletic Hall of Fame, reflecting the reverence held by the club's supporters for this one-club man.
- "Rufus forced to retire". BBC. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Reds' late show stuns Charlton". BBC. 21 April 2003. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- "England's Richard Rufus: "God Gives You Peace and an Abandant Life"". Christianity Today. 11 June 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- Arbuthnott, George (29 December 2013). "Ex-footballer scores £6m own goal". The Times. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- Brown, David; Keshik, Norhan (6 February 2014). "Footballer’s investment own goals cost his church £5m". The Times. Retrieved 9 August 2014.