With West Ham comfortably settled in the top half of the Premiership at the time of writing, their manager's story provides an enjoyable illustration of the game since the sixties. Harry Redknapp's tale never wanders too far from the subject of the game itself, but manages to keep a down-to-earth flavour, as one might expect from a man born and bred in East London.
At West Ham during the sixties, Redknapp played with some of the era's most illustrious stars, including the late, incomparable Bobby Moore. But the game has moved on, and Redknapp's career unfolds against this background. Son Jamie, one of today's millionaire players, with a pop-star wife to match, brings a useful counterpoint to father Harry's earlier experiences. Redknapp senior puts it all into perspective, relating the tale of his near- fatal motor accident sustained in Italy following the 1990 World Cup. His co-passenger, a close friend, lost his life. Harry, however, lived to tell his tale and one should be grateful for that. Stories of managerial life with Bournemouth and West Ham are told with candour, and no little self- justification on issues surrounded by controversy at the time. Redknapp admits to mistakes, such as bringing the "foreign legion" to Upton Park in 1996, but explains the motivation behind them. Sharp observations on many of his contemporaries are mixed with humorous anecdotes, and the now almost obligatory references to drinking and gambling in football. Not everything moved on during Redknapp's time in football after all. --Trevor Crowe
From the Back Cover
Mention West Ham United FC and the name Harry Redknapp immediately springs to mind. The Hammers’ boss is an institution in the game; his experience of English football in the nineties from the perspective of one club is unsurpassed.
His was a controversial appointment, as he took over at West Ham in 1994 to succeed former favourite Billy Bonds. But Redknapp broke the mould: he was one of the first Premiership managers to recruit heavily from abroad, and he gives a refreshing insight into how such players as Raduciou, Dani, Porfirio and other foreign buys adjusted – or in many cases, failed – to adapt to the frenetic pace and unique culture of English football.
More recently he has proved a shrewd investor in British talent, with the likes of Hartson, Berkovic, Lomas and Sinclair ensuring that the Hammers are riding high in the Premiership and looking to return to European competition in 1998/99.
Away from football, Redknapp recalls his narrow escape from a near fatal car accident in 1990 and the unique relationship with his son, Jamie, a quality player for Liverpool and England who is engaged to pop star Louise.
Featuring insights into controversial takeover plans for West Ham by millionaire racehorse owner Michael Tabor, and Redknapp’s own reaction to the FA ban on betting, this book offers an unique perspective on the world of English football.