Harry Redknapp was West Ham’s manager for seven years – during this time, he had his highs and lows. Some praise him for his performance, others remember him as a “terrible” manager. While he definitely didn’t turn the Hammers into one of the most valuable football clubs in the world, he helped to establish the club in the FA Premier League and introduced some of the team’s legendary players like Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. His time behind the claret and blue definitely had its ups and downs – but it had its fun moments as well (that definitely seem funnier looking back at them today).
His greatest screw-up
Back in the 1990s, before the time of YouTube and social media, managers couldn’t get their hands on as much footage featuring their hopefuls as today. Still, Redknapp hired Dutch footballer Marco Boogers based on hearsay and a short video alone. The fans of the team didn’t know what to expect either – the player had a decent record during his time with various Eerste Divisie teams. And Boogers was a major surprise for the fans – albeit not the one they expected.
Boogers joined the team in the field as a replacement for the second time during a match against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Almost immediately, he took down Gary Neville with a rib-high challenge that went down in history as the “horror tackle”. The player was sent off immediately and suspended for four matches. After his suspension expired, he stepped in the field twice before leaving West Ham for good.
Back in 1994, during a match against Oxford City, Redknapp allegedly grew tired of a fan named Steve Davies continuously yelling from the sideline. Fed up with his critics, he pulled Davies into the field, while also sending off star striker Lee Chapman off the field. He also gave him a shirt, along with the chance to prove his feet’s worth – as Davies has already demonstrated that he can talk.
The Guardian tracked Davies down in the early 2010s, and he confirmed the story, bragging about even scoring a goal for the team.
The curious case of Paulo Futre
Last but not least, let’s remember the story Redknapp told about Paulo Futre and the tantrum he threw because of his jersey number. Apparently, the Portuguese playmaker liked number 10 but he got the number 16 and he didn’t like it. He expressed his dissatisfaction by walking out and refusing to play. Futre said that he always played wearing the 10 shirt, just like his idol Pelé. His career at West Ham was cut short – he didn’t even appear in 10 games with the team.