Twists and turns in career of cockney charmer

Harry Redknapp is one of few English managers to enjoy relative success in the modern Premier League

The Tottenham Hotspur boss's finest hour within football came when he guided Portsmouth to the FA Cup in 2008 during a season of personal difficulty.

Just weeks before his triumph at Wembley, his wife's twin sister Pat, the mother of Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard, died of pneumonia.

In an era dominated by foreign managers, Redknapp, whose son Jamie is famous in his own right as a former footballer and pundit, characterises football's old school, having grown up watching Arsenal from the Highbury terraces in the 1950s.

His Cockney charm and straight-talking attitude with the media has seen him often top fans' polls to manage England.

Born in Poplar, east London, in 1947, he became a professional footballer as a winger with West Ham United in 1964. He made 149 appearances and scored five goals.

In 1972 he signed for Bournemouth, playing in 101 games and scoring five times, before finishing at Brentford in 1976, where he played just one game.

He began his managerial career back at his old club Bournemouth in 1983. The team were languishing second from bottom in the old Division Three, but in 1987 he got them promoted by winning the league.

His time at Bournemouth was also notable for a third round FA Cup victory over holders Manchester United.

In 1992 he joined West Ham United as assistant manager, and two years later was given the top job after Billy Bonds resigned.

Redknapp won praise for nurturing the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Lampard from youth team to international success before he quit in 2001 after ensuring the club's Premier League survival for another season.

He was appointed director of football at Portsmouth and became manager the following year when Graham Rix was sacked.

In 2003 Redknapp led the team to promotion to the top flight after a 15-year wait, and they finished a respectable 13th place in the next season.

But by November 2004 his relationship with chairman Milan Mandaric had broken down after his assistant Jim Smith was replaced by a continental coach.

Redknapp resigned and soon joined arch-rivals Southampton, who were relegated from the Premiership on the final day of the season.

In December 2005 he rejoined Portsmouth, claiming he made "a monumental mistake" in leaving them for Southampton.

But, just months after winning the FA Cup in 2008, beating Cardiff 1-0 in the final at Wembley, his hero status on the south coast was destroyed as he quit the club again to join top-flight rivals Tottenham.

Days later Pompey fans took to the streets to boo and jeer Redknapp as he was given the freedom of Portsmouth in a bitter twist of fate for fans of the south coast club.

Hailed for his astuteness in the transfer market, he has since led Spurs from bottom of the Premier League to compete for a top-four finish.

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