We thought we’d seen the last of ‘Arry after he left Birmingham City in September 2017 but, happily, we were wrong, when he was named as one of the contestants for I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
And he’s managed to get his hands on some more silverware as he was crowned King of the Jungle after charming viewers with tall tales and his affection for wife Sandra, as well as dealing with bugs, critters and - his biggest fear - a boatload of rats.
The king of the wheeler dealers (though don’t say that to his face), Harry has been one of the major characters in English football management ever since taking over at Bournemouth way back in 1983.
Love him or hate him, he’s always been fantastic entertainment in front of a camera. Here are his finest moments.
1. ‘No Wonder He’s in the F**king Reserves’
Quintessential Harry, as he conducts a training ground interview that is rudely interrupted by a stray football. The best bit is Harry quietly seething through the reporter’s last question before delivering the final rebuke to the errant player.
2. “No, I’m not a wheeler and dealer”
A fairly innocuous comment, one might think, given Harry’s reputation for signing players and moving others on, but one which he clearly did not like; communicating that in no uncertain terms to the hapless journalist. The reaction of the reporter is somewhat pathetic though; sounding very much a child begging for forgiveness from their angry dad.
3. “I’d like to go to Elland Road on a Tuesday night”
Faced with the constant inanity of reporters’ questions, it’s not surprising that managers occasionally feel like giving a question the answer it deserves. Ask a silly question, get a silly response - and Harry delivers his with a gloriously sarcastic flourish.
4. “I could have run about more than he did”
Harry has never been one to suffer fools gladly, and mercurial midfielder Adel Taarabt was on the receiving end of a Redknapp blast earlier this season after not pulling his (considerable, according to his manager) weight in training. For his part, the player denied the claims, but it was highly amusing seeing Harry aim both barrels at the Moroccan playmaker.
5. “I mean f**king hell”
Never one to shy away from industrial language, when Sky go live to a Harry interview a little earlier than planned, the airwaves turned blue - and it wasn’t due to Portsmouth’s shirts being in shot.
6. “He will go right to the very top. Right to the very top”
A 1996 West Ham fan forum saw Harry deal with some angry Hammers fans with aplomb. Faced with accusations that he’d let good midfielders go, while showing unfair favouritism to a lad called Frank Lampard, son of a coach at the club, he stood his ground and, with Frank there with him, made a passionate defence of his young player. To be fair, we’d say that Harry called this one right.
7. “Off he went, he went into one”
A dressing room with Harry Redknapp and Paolo Di Canio was never going to be quiet, but this fantastic interview led to Harry sharing a few great stories about the Italian, even indulging in a spirited impression. Naturally, he pronounces his name wrong throughout, and doesn’t let the truth get in the way of telling a good story. Factually iffy, but top marks for entertainment.
8. “I’m so lucky to have such good coaching staff”
Midway through waxing lyrical about the quality of his backroom staff following Spurs’ qualification for the Champions League, Harry is rudely interrupted by his players and a bucket of water. The split-second look of abject terror just before impact is particularly amusing.
9. “I think there’s about 4 balls up the M27”
The Soccer Saturday team are never far away from uproarious laughter: add in a clearly cheerful pre-match Harry Redknapp, with his Portsmouth side riding high in the league, discuss the merits of Benjani’s finishing and hilarity ensues.
10. “If they wear the right swimwear”
We couldn’t finish without a Range Rover interview and, while this saw him given some reader questions, rather than anything serious, it did see Harry reveal his opinion on one of the great quandries of our time - will a boy ever be born that can swim faster than a shark?
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