Harry: My Autobiography by Harry Redknapp
|Harry: My Autobiography by Harry Redknapp|
|Reviewer: Peter Magee|
|Summary: Entertaining and candid - a treat for the football lover.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Ebury Press|
Everybody with an interest in football knows who Harry is. The cover of his book won't tell you who he is, but if you're not in the know it's Harry Redknapp - football manager and for many of us, something of a national treasure. He's the manager who's seen it all, having started at rock bottom - a 70s Portakabin at Oxford City - and risen to the heights of managing Tottenham Hotspur in the Premiership. At the same time he was the popular choice for the England Manager's job when Capello threw in the towel. It's fair to say that Harry has lived his football life to the full and anyone buying this book will get their money's worth.
Harry has the advantage that he had a successful career as a player before he became a manager. He was a contemporary of Bobby Moore, probably the most revered England Captain of all time. I was fascinated to read Harry's account of Moore both as a player and as a man - and he pulls no punches about the shabby treatment meted out to Moore when his playing days were over. It's a pity that West Ham, in particular, did little to recognise Moore's major contribution until after his untimely death. I was struck throughout the book not only by Harry's support for the people who worked for him but also by how willing he was to engage with anyone who wanted to spend time discussing football.
What comes across quite clearly is his love for the game and the personalities within it. That's not to say that he hasn't crossed swords with one or two chairmen along the way, but even then he's written about his detractors fairly. He's not someone who will be on the Football Association's list of favourite people, but I thought his views on the England set-up and recent managers refreshingly candid and to the point.
It reads like an honest account and it's as though you're listening to the author telling the stories, notwithstanding that he frankly admits that he has no literary skills to speak of, having left a rough East End school at fifteen to go straight into football. This book will appeal to anyone who loves the game whatever their club allegiance: it's a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Premier League: A History in 10 Matches by Jim White.
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