Redknapp is one of the country’s most loved football managers, earning acclaim for his spells leading Tottenham Hotspur into the Champion’s League, and being the last Englishman to lift the FA Cup, while in charge of Portsmouth. He earned a wealth of new fans after becoming King of the Jungle on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, with viewers enchanted by his relaxed and engaging manner. The 74-year-old’s love of jam roly-poly, as well as his long marriage to wife Sandra, also proved vital in bewitching admirers back when his popularity was at its peak in 2018.
Described by some as one of the greatest managers to never lead the England national football team, Redknapp’s warmth was also felt by a number of players.
The likes of Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe, strikers who followed Harry to a number of clubs including Tottenham and Portsmouth, have spoken highly of his influence on and off the pitch.
Yet, according to Vine – who made 13 appearances for Portsmouth at the start of his career – Redknapp’s off-field persona was completely different to when he was on the training pitch.
Speaking to Under the Cosh podcast, the 38-year-old recalled how, when Redknapp took over the reigns of Portsmouth in 2002, he played a couple of games before being shipped out on loan to Brentford.
When asked what Redknapp was like, Vine said: “Back then, I didn’t like him.
“He wasn’t the Harry you saw on I’m A Celebrity, it wasn’t all the jam roly polys you know. It was like the old 51:10 [mobile phone] was out, and he was like, ‘Who the f**k does he think he is?'”
He claimed: “I liked Harry, and he’d say now that he likes me, because we do get on now, I’ve seen him and we’ve interlinked a few times.
“But back in the day he wasn’t a nice guy.”
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Redknapp’s last job in management came during a doomed spell in 2017 when he managed Birmingham City for just 13 games.
After a long playing career, Redknapp started out as a manager at AFC Bournemouth in 1983.
But Vine’s remarks were completely different to what viewers found of Redknapp when he appeared on the popular ITV show.
TV critic Emma Bullimore told BBC Radio 5 Live after Redknapp won that he was “the favourite all the way through”.
She added: “With all of his little idiosyncrasies and little catchphrases, he was absolutely brilliant entertainment value and a very worthy winner.
“There was no game plan, there was no pretence, he was just himself. He came across as such a genuinely nice man.”
Under the Cosh is available on YouTube and from other podcast providers.