Harry Redknapp on ‘lifesaver’ job that got family out of dire straits ‘We were struggling’

Harry Redknapp recalls his chaperone being mistaken for Sandra

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Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, 73, has opened up on getting a “lucky” escape from being in dire straits with his family; wife Sandra and their two sons, Jamie, 47, and Mark, 51. Harry managed to land a job in America while he was worrying about what he was going to do for work when his career as a football player ended in 1976.

The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner played for West Ham United, and Bournemouth before he got the opportunity to become a player-coach for the North American Soccer League (NASL) club Seattle Sounders.

However, before he went on to find success as a football manager, Harry and his other half Sandra experienced their fair share of struggles financially.

Speaking out about the difficult time on his self-titled podcast, The Harry Redknapp Show, he said: “We went out to America on the travels and it wasn’t always easy.

“People always think, ‘Oh you’ve got plenty of dough and you’ve had plenty of money’. 

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“We were struggling, me and Sandra, to be honest.”

Harry went on to admit that when their children were little and his career as a professional footballer had to end, he and Sandra had “no money”.

He added: “When they were little and I’d finished playing, we had no money.”

Harry’s pal and co-host Dodge then asked him: “Are we talking the ‘70s here?”


Harry replied: “Yeah the ‘70s, I was coming to the end of my playing time and I’m thinking, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” 

The football manager was initially planning on becoming a taxi driver when he fell on hard times, but he couldn’t afford to do it.

He continued: “I was going to buy Bournemouth taxi, but we didn’t have the money. 

“It was like £14,000 – £15,000, there was no way that we could get the money to buy the taxi, you have to buy the plate.

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“So we were lucky we got the break and I got offered a job in America to go and play and coach in America with Jimmy Gabriel.

“So Mark and Jamie, and obviously with Sandra, we packed our bags and we went to America.

“So that was a lifesaver for us really, going out there.”

Harry’s son Jamie, who also embarked on a career as a professional footballer, admitted he couldn’t remember much of the family’s time in the US, as he was only two-years-old, but did remember parts of it as an “adventure”.

“I remember a little bit about Seattle, and I’ve got some pictures of me with Bobby Moore and dad,” he quipped.

“It was different and new and I just always accepted that when your dad’s a football manager or coach, you’re just going to be travelling around and it was the norm to meet [football stars].”

Harry is now worth £14.5million, according to reports from Celebrity Net Worth.

The ex coach retired from his management duties in 2017 after managing AFC Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City.

You can tune into Harry’s podcast on Tuesdays on Global Player.

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