Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Louise Is the Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me ; It Is 10 Years since Jamie Redknapp's Injuries Forced Him to Retire from Football, but He's Successfully Built an Enviable TV Career and Happy Family Life. He Talks to KATE WHITING about Fatherhood, His Sons' Love of Sport and Why Wife Louise Is Still the Love of His Life

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Louise Is the Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me ; It Is 10 Years since Jamie Redknapp's Injuries Forced Him to Retire from Football, but He's Successfully Built an Enviable TV Career and Happy Family Life. He Talks to KATE WHITING about Fatherhood, His Sons' Love of Sport and Why Wife Louise Is Still the Love of His Life

Article excerpt

fit for fame JAMIE REDKNAPP politely pauses our conversation, and is back on the phone a minute later to apologise: "Sorry about that, my wife keeps calling 'cos I'm picking the kids up and she's ringing up asking where I am."

His wife is, of course, former member of girl band Eternal and then solo singer Louise, and their children are 11-year-old Charley and Beau, seven, who both take after their dad - and grandad Harry - as keen football players.

For Jamie, doing the school run is just one of the best bits about his new career, which involves hosting Sky Sports' Saturday Night Football, and being a team captain on Sky 1's comedy panel show A League Of Their Own, hosted by James Corden.

"Yeah, I love doing the school run, I can't wait to speak to them and see what they're up to," says the handsome 42-year-old.

"A lot of dads do, a lot of my friends. It's easier with me than some dads, because of my work, a lot of times I work weekends or the odd evening. My little one has got football on a Friday night, so I go and pick him up, it's great fun."

Jamie's footballing career started at Bournemouth, under his manager dad Harry, and he was signed to Liverpool when he was 17 in 1991, the Pounds 350,000 fee being one of the highest paid for a teenager at the time.

In the mid-Nineties, the midfielder became one of the poster boys of English football, but he was dogged by injury. Named Liverpool captain for the 1999-2000 season, he was forced to sit out many games with a knee injury, for which he had surgery in America.

In 2002, he joined Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer and ended his career in 2005 as he'd begun it - playing for dad, this time at Southampton.

"Every now and again, I see a physio about it, but it doesn't really bother me - I can go and have a kickabout in the garden with the kids," he says now of his injury.

"If you say to me now, 'Go for a five-mile run', I couldn't do it. I can walk around a golf course, that's my real passion now in terms of sport."

Golf, another game he'd grown up playing with his dad, helped him "fill the void" football left when he was forced to retire aged only 31. To put that in perspective, his cousin Frank Lampard is still playing as a midfielder for New York City FC aged 37. …

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