Tuesday, 15 May 2018

What can we tell you about - Dean Court Days?

Cherry Chimes is pleased to bring to your attention a new biography of a Bournemouth manager that really first excited me about the Cherries and certainly had a massive impact on my good friend and fellow AFCB supporter, Michael Dunne, known to all Bournemouth fans as All Departments. Michael has delved meticulously into Harry Redknapp's life and has written Dean Court Days, which is out today!

First of all, thanks to Peter for allowing me to publicise Dean Court Days on Cherry Chimes and for all of his hard work with this blog over the years.

There were many occasions growing up in Christchurch in the 1980s when I would see Harry Redknapp in mundane circumstances. Collecting his boys from school, filling up his car at the petrol station and mowing the front lawn at his home on Old Barn Road were not unusual sights. None of that humdrum activity ever reduced my boyish awe when in his vicinity. In fact, it probably increased as a result. I couldn't believe he could be a football manager and pop to the local shop for a newspaper. It seemed, to my pre-pubescent eyes, almost superhuman.

This exaggerated sense of hero worship arose during the early years of a lifelong obsession with football in general and our mighty Cherries in particular. I regularly tumbled into a state of giddy excitement simply at the thought that there was a Football League club quite near my house. The run down and frankly dangerous condition of the old Dean Court was a barely acknowledged irrelevance, so absorbed was I in what appeared to be a magic show going on out on the pitch.

This blissful naivety of my early youth has faded somewhat over the years, but it has never been completely extinguished and it was my eternal love of AFC Bournemouth that led me to write Dean Court Days. Whenever I thumbed through the pages of a Harry Redknapp biography, I was always disappointed by the brevity of material dealing with our former manager’s years at Bournemouth. In Harry’s first autobiography, his four year playing stint with the Cherries in the early 1970s was covered in just a handful of paragraphs. It was as if the years that mattered the most to me in his long career in football were little more than an irrelevance to the general public, with Redknapp’s time at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham taking on far greater importance. 


As a result of this frustration, I decided to write a book which focused on Redknapp’s entire career at Dean Court as player, coach and manager. Not being blessed with a great deal of spare time, it was a lengthy process, but one which consistently surprised me. The willingness of Harry and his ex-players and teammates to talk about the old days was heart warming, as were the little nuggets of information and anecdotes unearthed by various methods of research. Most surprising of all was the cooperation of Harry himself. Having been involved in what I assume were several reasonably lucrative book projects already, he had no compelling reason to help me, but Harry willingly gave his time and was very supportive throughout.

Making a contribution to the relatively small number of books that have been published about the Cherries is an extremely rewarding experience. I know that there is at least one more book coming out about Bournemouth this year and I hope that others follow in the near future as my Cherry library will never be closed for business.

Peter will be featuring a few exerts from Dean Court Days in the coming weeks. If you are interested in reading the book in full, then click here.

The book is now in stock!

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