After spending almost an entire year out of the game since leaving QPR on medical grounds last February, Harry Redknapp has made a shock return to football after accepting a director’s role at non-league minnows Wimborne Town.
The move hasn’t come entirely out of the blue, as Redknapp has been a patron of Wimborne for quite some time and regularly pitches up to watch his local amateur side play in the Evo-Stik Division One South & Southwest League – the seventh tier of the English football pyramid.
‘Arry was coerced into taking over as director by returning chairwoman Paula Henley, who managed to secure the sensational coup as part of her consortium’s bid to assume control of the club.
Here are the background details, courtesy of the Bournemouth Daily Echo:
Chairperson of [Wimborne] for five months until February last year, Henley then busied herself with managing Moordown Under-8s where Redknapp’s grandson Bobbie plays.
That allowed the businesswoman to get in touch with [Redknapp], regularly seen on the sidelines at Moordown matches, before holding talks with [Henley] at her Ferndown home on Wednesday.
And lo, here we are.
Henley laid out the situation to the Daily Echo:
I explained my motivations for going back and said it would be absolutely amazing if Harry could have some involvement at board level – and he agreed.
I was dumbstruck. I kept asking if he was sure because I couldn’t quite believe it. Having his name associated with us is huge.
He views it as a good, traditional club and I think he could see my enthusiasm to try and improve things and wanted to help – I don’t think it’s any more than that.
He will be there in an advisory capacity. I don’t want it suggested that he will help the club out financially because I haven’t asked him for that. It was never on the agenda.
I don’t expect him to be at every board meeting or out there trying to drum up business – that’s not what it’s about.
He is happy to support Wimborne Town and myself and help in any way that he can.
For the record, Wimborne are currently 18th in the South & Southwest league, three places above the drop zone and desperately battling to stave off relegation.