Harry Redknapp's grandma had big effect on his gambling habit

Feb 15, 2012, 11:37 IST | ANI

Harry Redknapp has revealed in his autobiography that his grandmother's gambling had a huge impact on him

Harry Redknapp has revealed in his autobiography that his grandmother's gambling had a huge impact on him.

Redknapp grew up on a housing estate in Poplar, east London, where his father Henry was a football-crazy docker and his mum Violet worked at the Co-op.

At the time, his grandmother worked as a bookie's runner and had constant run-ins with the police.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager made these revelations in his autobiography 'Arry.

He said that betting plays a large part in his life, even though his wife Sandra frowns upon it.

But it was inevitable that gambling would be in his blood given the influence of his mum's mother, Maggie Brown.

"What a character she was. I used to rush home from school every day to my nan's for dinner and the first thing she did was put the newspaper in front of me and ask me to pick out three horses," the Sun quoted him as saying.

"I couldn't read or write, but she'd put a pen in my hand and ask me to mark three selections.

"Then she'd pick up the paper, rub it on my head - 'Ginger for luck,' she'd say - and wait for Cyril the paperboy, also known as Cyril the bookie, to come round," he said.

Redknapp's grandmother - as the bookie's runner - would go round the whole street collecting bets and then pass them on to Cyril.

The people in the neighbourhood would write their bets on little bits of paper and put their names on the bottom. They would bet three tuppenny doubles and a tuppenny treble.

"My nan would have them all on the mantelpiece, and when Cyril came round with the paper, she'd have the bets wrapped up individually and drop them in Cyril's satchel," he said.

His paper round was just a front for his bookmaking because being a bookie was illegal in those days, as was being a bookie's runner.

"I'd come home from school for dinner and quite often my nan would be getting carted away in a police car.

"Your dinner's in the oven,' she'd shout to me. 'These bastards won't keep me for long. I'll be home in an hour, boy'," he said.

The police would have her down the station for a couple of hours, warn her off then she'd come back and do exactly the same as before.

"They never put her off. She loved it. But somehow her gambling instincts were never picked up by my mum," he said.

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