The announcement on Wednesday that Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp was writing his autobiography for Ebury Press was a kipper in a barrel to the internet’s wizened galley of gagsmiths. The Independent doesn’t take much stock with farming cheap laughs at the intelligence of a man whose footballing nous has seen him rise from East End poverty to one of the longest-running careers in the world’s most fickle industries.
That said, this is the same Harry Redknapp who, while on trial for tax evasion (he was found not guilty) was heard saying at Southwark Crown Court last January that: “I don’t write. I couldn’t even fill a team sheet in.”
A recording played in court heard Redknapp explain that he couldn’t “work a computer, I don’t know what an email is, I can’t, I have never sent a fax and I’ve never even sent a text message”. A litany of accomplishments that suggest – unless he’s going to Hemingway it in on a typewriter – his ghostwriter could be a busy man until the book’s October publication. Interestingly, this is actually Harry’s second autobiography, a first appeared in 1998, not a bad run considering.
Of course Trending isn’t naive enough to expect a celebrity autobiography to be culled from months of vicious battles with writers’ block rather than a few hours’ worth of interviews with a journalist spun to novel-length, but perhaps Harry ought not to have highlighted his literary abilities quite so fervently with a book deal on the distant horizon.
He joins Victoria Beckham in a club of non-reading, non-writing bestsellers. Beckham announced upon the launch of her own 528-page autobiography that she’d “never read a book in my life” (though later blamed it on a mistranslation). Also in that non-reading book club is Jamie Oliver who – despite selling over £130m-worth of cookbooks – didn’t read a book until this year when he read Suzanne Collins’s Catching Fire. Oliver told The Independent Magazine that his struggles with novels were down to his dyslexia. So Harry’s in good – lucrative – company. But it might be interesting to read any mentions of his lack of writing abilities. Nobody tell him that Cognitive Dissonance doesn’t play upfront for Borussia Monchengladbach.