Gambles’ Rambles: recalling another spelling test Harry Redknapp, aged 2+, failed

It was while waiting to be released from the Riverside after a hard-fought but deserved win against the Boro that Ken Gambles learned, thanks to the scoreboard, that Fabio Capello had resigned. It set him thinking …

This momentous event, of course, was to dominate the football, if not national, news to the extent that Thursday’s Guardian omitted our match report completely and the only information it offered was that we’d achieved a L-L draw at Middlesbrough.

Now I’m certainly far more of a club supporter than a country one, probably ever since the shameful neglect of my all-time favourite player, Monty, and I had great sympathy with a Spurs fan who rang into Five Live as we journeyed home and declared:

“I would rather Spurs win a corner than England win a tournament.”

Which brings me to my subject: in the words of the excellent Tony Gillan in View from the Bridge in the Football Echo, “Good ‘Ol Harry Redknapp”.

Quite fortuitously, on the same day that Capello departed, Harry had been cleared of all charges at Southwark Crown Court and seemed to be the favourite for the England job in the eyes of most callers, pundits and ex-players. Thank heavens Martin O’Neill quickly ruled himself out of the running.

As part of ‘Good ‘Ol’s defence in the trial he’d mentioned how poor he was with modern technology and that he had the reading and spelling ability of a two-year-old. This could, of course, have been taken with a large pinch of salt as part of the defence (bearing in mind that here was a man protesting his complete innocence and, in the end, cleared unanimously – ed).

Visiting Spurs fan needing a gloat? Check out the star Gooner who admits Tottenham will finish higher … click anywhere on this paragraph

But I was reminded of a lovely story told to me by Bill Mantle, who did Roker Radio for many years, when I was compiling Black Catalogue.

Managers are supposed to hand in teamsheets to the referee an hour before kick-off and Bill would always be present to receive a copy for his announcements. In the 1996-97 season against West Ham at Roker, he was standing with Graham Poll, the referee, and Peter Reid in the corridor awaiting the already late Hammers teamsheet (remember clubs could be in serious trouble for breaking this requirement).

Suddenly Harry Redknapp appeared, dashing down the corridor saying: “Sorry about that but it’s all our foreign players and I can’t spell their names.”

I suppose with a squad including Dumitrescu, Bilic, Futre and Miklosko (M Salut trusts you, Ken, and has made no spellchecks!) – you could see his point. So perhaps no great surprise that he also struggled with the niceties of taxation regulations.

Which leads me to conclude that not only was Good ‘Ol telling the truth, as now established in law (at any rate on the balance of probability), he has also taken on a bit of part-time sub-editing with BBC Tees. For on Wednesday night they had Sunderland’s first goalscorer as Jock Holbeck (that well-known Scot from Leeds I assume).

4 thoughts on “Gambles’ Rambles: recalling another spelling test Harry Redknapp, aged 2+, failed”

  1. I also would like to see Pardew get the job, although I doubt his current employers at the Soprano’s Stadium would let him unless there was a massive financial incentive for them.

    The job is a ‘poisoned chalice’. Yes, Arry will probably get it and although he is probably as good as anyone who would want it (including Steve Bruce of course), he will be vilified within a couple of years and the search for the perfect England manager will resume.

  2. Can’t see Good old ‘Arry signing the Argentinian who is at Everton.
    He appears to be “the peoples choice” for the job, aided and abetted by his chums in the media, who will turn on him at the earliest opportunity.
    Pardew for me. His going would destroy the Mags and he would be completely out of his depth, thereby ensuring that England fail to qualify for the next World Cup and we can watch the football in peace.

  3. That last comment made me smile more than probably most Ken, because our eldest is a “Jack” too. A few weeks back his Mum heard one of us refer to Jack Colback and immediately said “Has Jack called back? I’ve been trying to get hold of him all day.”

    Jack Colback can’t get a mention now without some reference to this incident.

    Redknapp would have been better off signing players called Smith or Brown. Mind you he did try and nick Kenwyne Jones from us didn’t he? We know now of course that would have just been to help himself with the team sheet.

  4. Aye Monty was a favourite of mine too. My favourite photograph EVER of a Sunderland player is the one taken just after Bobby Kerr was presented with the cup. But it’s not the pic of Bobby that I like so much. Just behind him is Monty, exhibiting a smile so wide he must have dislocated his jaw! A local lad enjoying his bit of glory after slogging away for years with little reward. He happened to play in a era with many outstanding keepers, but to get NO caps!?! Disgraceful!

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