Harry Redknapp - The King of the Jungle?

The King of the Jungle

Harry Redknapp - The King of the Jungle?

Harry Redknapp carved out a successful career in football management at West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth (to name but a few). 

However, he’s now taken a step back from the football pitch and headed into the jungle to compete in this year’s “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” 

So far, it’s been fascinating and hilarious to see the former manager coping without his beloved wife Sandra looking (and running around) after him. And it seems his antics have won over the nation.

Prior to the weekend, Redknapp was priced at 7/1 to win the TV reality show, however, in the most recent odds to win I’m A Celebrity, he is now the favourite, at a price of 1/2. His closest rivals to the crown are former Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack, priced at 5/1 and DIY SOS’ Nick Knowles, who you can bet on at 10/1.

Harry is not the first former footballer to have taken part in the show, but he may well become the most popular, as none of the previous ex-footballers have ever won the show. John Fashanu, who appeared in the second series back in 2003, has been the most successful former footballer so far, finishing in second place, losing out to former England cricketer Phil Tufnell.

There’s something about Harry though that makes us believe he has a real chance of winning this year’s show. The 71 year old, who was born in Poplar, London, has already won the hearts of many of the viewers with some of the tales from his life, particularly those about his wife Sandra, from how they met in a pub called the Two Puddings to the time he ran her over in his car, breaking her ankle. 

As a manager, his most successful moments were during his reigns at West Ham and Portsmouth. As manager of the Hammers, he guided them to success in the UEFA Intertoto Cup; while on the south coast with Portsmouth, he led the club to the 2008 FA Cup, etching his name into Pompey folklore.

Prior to his stint in the jungle, Redknapp had a mixed reputation amongst football fans. Having been manager of both Portsmouth and their arch rivals Southampton, it’s best not to mention his name around their fans, although fans of the former are likely to be a bit more generous with their opinions of him.

Harry has so far competed in three ‘Bushtucker Trials’ and performed well in them all. To the surprise of a few he has proved that he can cope with disgusting challenges such as drinking a blended pig penis smoothie called ‘Knobby Williams’. 

Handling difficult situations is nothing new for the former Premier League manager as he has often had difficult questions posed to him by journalists over the years. However, the jungle presents a different challenge and one in which his gift of the gab might not be enough to help him. 

Those difficult questions have sometimes provided a rather blunt and outspoken response, including one regarding Adel Taarabt while Redknapp was manager of QPR.

With around a week to go, we’ll soon find out who will be crowned the new king or queen of the jungle. With his hilarious stories and endearing personality, it looks like Harry will be adding another personal trophy to the Premier League Manager of the Season award that he won as manager of Tottenham in the 2009/10 season.

Poppy Watt