‘Judas’ ‘Arry gets Freedom of PortsmouthBy: Rob | October 28th, 2008
You have to laugh really – honestly, you couldn’t make it up. Three days after jumping ship from Portsmouth to go and manage Tottenham, Harry Redknapp was given Freedom of the City of Portsmouth. He was not well recieved. The man in the picture there, was in fact taken away for booing the former manager. (Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
The ceremony was announced ages ago, to commemorate the FA Cup win last season, which put Pompy in the UEFA Cup. The timing, as noted by Redknapp himself, was very bad though, and the former manager was treated to boos of ‘Judas’, while his successor, Tony Adams, was treated to cheers of “Tony”.
Th leader of the council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, decided the ceremony should go ahead despite the manager’s leaving for Spurs on Saturday. He kicked things off, amongst the jeers saying:
“This is a very different speech from one I had planned. It is only right and proper to say that this would have been a speech about celebration and thanks. It still is – winning the FA Cup was a great feat, but it must now also be about sadness and goodbyes.Harry has had a huge impact on this city. I was thinking, what do I call him?”
At this point a Pompy fan stood up and yelled “Judas”
So, we’re thinking Harry might not have happy returns to the city?
I’m not sure if he deserves to be called a Judas, its not as if he’s gone to manage Southampton..er..again. He has turned Pompy into a proper Prem club, however you look at it, and the FA Cup was a big success. I can understand that Pompy fans are hurt, and worried about the Sammy Lee Effect, and this was especially bad timing. He probably shouldn’t have been booed though. He shouldn’t really have had the cheek to go back and get the freedom of the city, either.
Redknapp for his part, seemed oblivious to the jeers:
“My timing has never been very good and, this week, it could never have been worse.
“It’s a great honour to receive this award, but I was only a member of a team.The fans are absolutely fantastic, but, most importantly, we assembled an amazing football team. The talent that is at this football club is top class.I’m sure with the players, the chairman and the support the club has, the club will only keep going forwards.I really do appreciate everyone turning up today and being so kind.”
It should be pointed out at this point that the crowd mostly cheered and a woman had to be calmed down as she was continually yelling that she loved Harry.
So the full spectrum then.