Harry Redknapp Tribute: 1972-1992

By Joshua Hoare

Bad hair day: Harry rejoins the Cherries in 1982

The south coast is where Harry Redknapp would regard his home. His swanky five bedroom apartment over-looking sandbanks beach in Bournemouth,  offers ‘Arry the tranquillity to unwind and the escapism from the stresses of everyday football management.

It is no surprise that three of the five clubs, he has managed are located in the region. From disappointment of relegation with Southampton in 2004, to winning the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008, it is the ‘Redknapp revolution’ that has left many tipping him to become the next England manager after Fabio Capello. But it was at my club AFC Bournemouth, where Harry Redknapp firstly played (1972-76) and then managed (1983-1992) made his name. In a career spanning over 46 years and 1472 games; I would like to pay tribute with this piece, to one of the finest English managers this country as ever produced.

Home sweet home: Harry's house on sandbanks beach

As player Harry’s love for the cherries saw him spend two stints at the club. He managed over 114 games for the cherries in four seasons at Dean Court; but his first spell was largely plagued with injury, with the midfielder breaking his leg in his final season. However, there were plenty of memorable moments, with Redknapp managing to bag 6 goals for the south coast outfit. He later would play for Brentford and Seattle Sounders (USA) before returning in 1982-83 season.

Player to Manager: Harry takes over the reins at his beloved Bournemouth

Management has propelled Harry Redknapp’s reputation. In his first season at the helm, Harry guided the Cherries to a shock FA Cup win over holders Manchester United in the third round. It was an unforgettable victory, further symbolizing the FA Cup’s renowned ‘giant-killing’ tradition.

On 7 January 1984 Harry Redknapp’s Bournemouth side, many of whom were free transfers or plucked from lower divisions. Nobody gave them a chance against then United boss Ron Atkinson.

Cup Kings: Bournemouth 2-0 Manchester United

But Milton Graham and Ian Thompson failed to read the script as the pair stole the headlines with goals either side of half time. The late BBC Radio reporter Peter Jones, overwhelmed by the eruption of crowd noise, simply commented: “Bournemouth are going mad here.” The occasion certainly propelled Harry Redknapp’s managing reputation.

The 1986–87 season was probably Harry’s finest, when his thinly assembled squad won the Third Division title amassing a club record 97 points as they held off the challenge of Middlesbrough. Despite only managing to survive a couple of seasons in the second tier of English football, Harry had won over the hearts of the Dean Court faithful.


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