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The Spurs boss has confirmed the rumour that he grew up supporting Tottenham's bitter local rivals Arsenal...

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed in a new book that he grew up an Arsenal fan due to family links.

The former West Ham United and Portsmouth gaffer - who won the FA Cup with the south coast club last year - took up the reins at Spurs in October 2008, despite his earlier alliegances to Arsenal, but is adamant he is now "1,000 per cent" a Hotspur.

In the new Tottenham book, Down Memory Lane, Redknapp is quoted as saying, "I’m an Arsenal fan! My dad was Arsenal mad and he took me along to watch Arsenal, so they were the team I supported as a kid.

"But when I was 11, and playing for East London Schools, Spurs scout Dickie Walker spotted me playing at the Old Den against Wandsworth Boys. He came over to my dad and said, ‘Your son has what it takes’.

"I ended up the next four years at Spurs training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tony Marchi took the kids and Bill Nicholson had time for us boys and that’s where I first met him."

He continued, "During the school holidays I would train at Cheshunt where I first came into contact with the likes of Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower. Then I followed all their games.

"I ended up at West Ham and people think they are my club and in many ways they are, when I played there with Bobby Moore at the age of 15. But now Spurs are 1,000 per cent my club," he concluded.

It is not unheard of for a player and/or manager to support one club during his childhood, only to later stride out in the kit of their closest rivals.

Solid defender Jamie Carragher, for instance, was a well-known Evertonian as a youngster, and there were even suggestions he had the club badge tattooed on the top of his arm, which is why he always wears long-sleeved shirts. This rumour has since been quashed.

Alan Dawson, Goal.com

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