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Jamie Redknapp Me, family and the making of a footballer By Jamie Redknapp

Release date: 14th October, 2020
Publisher: Headline

List Price: £19.99
Our Price: £12.00
You Save: £7.99 (39%)
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Though he can occasionally come across as a bland, smiley character who, when in the company of punditry heavyweights such as Rio Ferdinand and Graeme Souness, can find his opinion drowned, the consensus is that Jamie Redknapp is an all-round good guy. But does this mean you should read his recently-published autobiography?

Surely, you’ll be thinking, it’s unlikely to amount to much more than a chronological account of his football career: from making his debut for Bournemouth aged 16, signing for Liverpool two years later and remaining at Anfield for eleven years before going to Tottenham. The career details will, you imagine, be interspersed with both humorous accounts of life off the pitch as well as a smattering of details regarding his fellow Sky Sports pundits and how they’re really all good mates behind the scenes.

In fact, Redknapp has not presented us with a typical, ex-footballer ‘autobiography’ (very few of these tomes are authored by the man on the tin), the template for which hasn’t changed a great deal over the past 25 years. Instead, Redknapp has delivered a warm, family-oriented account of his football life and while it may at time read a little like The Waltons, such is the narrative’s sincerity that you warm to Jamie and his family.

This means that in place of predictable stories of how young male footballers behave behind the scenes, we get the very funny (and descriptive) tale, recounted by Harry, Jamie’s father, to his two sons, of how grandad, a London docker, went on the booze after finishing work one Christmas Eve and how Mrs Redknapp, Jamie’s Nan, persuaded her husband to get home.

We also hear from Jamie’s mother, Sandra, who recounts how life was with two sports-mad sons (always breaking ornaments, apparently), plus a husband who was himself a professional footballer and coach.

We learn of how the family decamped to the USA each summer where Harry played and coached Seattle Sounders; of how Jamie could often be found kicking a ball around the back garden with George Best, Bobby Moore or Geoff Hurst. We also discover that Jamie was a natural footballer. His older brother, Mark, realised this by the time Jamie was six; the younger sibling didn’t need pushing, he was destined to become a professional footballer.

The tales are genuine, which means that readers will feel as though they have a seat at a family get-together where reminiscences and anecdotes tumble amid much laughter from the assembled family members. It’s an approach which makes Jamie Redknapp an unexpectedly warm and pleasurable read.

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