All Time Legend Feature #2: Jermaine Defoe

By Joshua Hoare

The arrival of Jermaine Defoe at Bournemouth in the season of 2000-2001, was a career defining moment for the prolific England and Tottenham Hotspur striker. The youngster joined the cherries on loan for the season from West Ham, again managed by Harry Redknapp.

Record breaker: Defoe was an instant hit for the cherries

Defoe, scored an incredible 19 goals in 29 appearances, which prompted many to stand up and take notice of a future England star. But it was a goal scored by Defoe in a game against Cambridge away, that would propel the young Jermaine to stardom.

In the 64th minute, Defoe controlled a long ball down from Steve Fletcher, to round the keeper and score his 10th consecutive goal for the Cherries, equalling John Aldridge’s post-war record set in 1988, only the great Dixie Dean (12) and Pele (14) have scored more consecutively at any competitive level.

West Ham manager Harry Redknapp tipped him for stardom, saying, “He’s done great. I sent him out to Bournemouth to get some experience playing league football and he’s coped marvellously. To score 10 goals in 10 games is a terrific achievement.

“He’s a bright lad who’s full of confidence. Nothing knocks him, he’s a typical goal-scorer. If he misses, he’ll be there the next time looking for a goal. He’s a kid with a big future.”

Since that wonderful season on the south coast, Defoe has simply not looked back, scoring over 167 times in 390 appearances for West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur respectively (2 spells).

Harry's Gem: Back amongst the goals at White Hart Lane under Redknapp

Defoe has won over 40 caps for England, scoring 11 goals in the process, incidently his footballing career began at local Sunday league side Senrab, based in London, the side has produced players such as Lee Bowyer, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ledley King.

But it is the special relationship that Defoe has formed with Harry Redknapp that has ignited his career. The pair have worked at West Ham, Portsmouth and now  Tottenham. And Defoe could not speak more highly of his mentor. ‘That’s why Harry Redknapp is such a great manager. You can speak to him about anything and you feel relaxed.’

Defoe will be remembered at Dean Court for his goals, his pace and his records. A wonderful player who has blossomed into one of England’s most feared strikers. A predator that recieves a 9 scoring in the legend charts for his influence and affection he created with Cherries fans all over the land.

Bournemouth Legend Rating:   9/10


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: