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Page last updated at 08:09 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 09:09 UK

Redknapp marks 25-year milestone

Harry Redknapp lifts the FA Cup
This year's FA Cup win was Harry Redknapp's first major trophy

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp celebrates 25 years in football management this weekend.

The 61-year-old's first job was at Bournemouth, where he succeeded Don Megson on 19 October 1983.

After nine years at Dean Court, he went on to manage West Ham United, Southampton, and Pompey (twice).

"I can remember my first game as if it was yesterday," said Redknapp. "We lost 9-0 at Lincoln! And it didn't get much better. We then lost 5-0 at Orient!"

He reflected to BBC Radio Solent: "Once, the Horse of the Year Show had ruined the pitch at Wembley, so we had to play the Associate Members Cup final at Hull instead, but we won 3-1."

Redknapp's nine-year stint with the Cherries included a famous FA Cup win over Manchester United in 1984.

But, having taken Bournemouth out of the old Third Division as champions in 1987, he stayed at Dean Court until 1992, by which time he had given his talented teenage son Jamie his league debut.

Redknapp's first trophy was the Associate Members Cup - now the Football League Trophy, and currently known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy - in 1984.

Redknapp, who had spent most of his playing career with West Ham and Bournemouth, then went back to Upton Park as assistant to Billy Bonds, before becoming Hammers manager himself in August 1994.

Then, after seven years in charge at West Ham, came his first spell at Portsmouth in March 2002, taking the club into the Premier League within 14 months as First Division champions.

After quitting Fratton Park for a year at local rivals Southampton, in which Saints were relegated to the Championship, Redknapp returned to Pompey in December 2005.

Then, after dramatically saving Pompey from the drop themselves with an unbelievable final 10-game run, Redknapp steered them to a best-ever Premier League finish of ninth in 2006/07.

It's just been fantastic to be involved in the game for so long. I guess I must be doing something right

Harry Redknapp

That was bettered again by one place in 2007/08, as well as the FA Cup victory over Cardiff, which qualified Redknapp and Pompey for their first journey into UEFA Cup football.

"I've had some outstanding players over the years," he said. "The likes of Paolo di Canio, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard at West Ham, and Teddy Sheringham and Paul Merson here at Portsmouth.

"But maybe one of my best signings was a big centre-half called John Williams at Bournemouth.

"He came in with 28 games to go in our title-winning season, and we only lost once, when he was suspended.

"It's just been fantastic to be involved in the game for so long. I guess I must be doing something right!"


see also
Redknapp given Freedom of Pompey
31 Jul 08 |  Hampshire
Redknapp goes back to Portsmouth
07 Dec 05 |  Football
Redknapp denies 'walk-out' report
24 Jul 05 |  Southampton
Redknapp move angers Pompey fans
08 Dec 04 |  Southampton


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