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Cup winners receive Freedom of Portsmouth

Pompey's FA cup winning heroes today received their freedom of the city award at the Guildhall - and true to his word Harry Redknapp did turn up for this, although chorus' of boos, jeers, and shouts of 'Judas' awaited him - which I guess was something that was expected, although to be honest for this honour could have been done without...

I have only seen a few shots of the ceremony but he clearly did not look comfortable at all and barely looked up at any stage as he said during the event, or as he made his speech: 'my timing has never been very good and, this week, it could never have been worse.

'It's a great honour to receive this award, but I was only a member of a team.

'The fans are absolutely fantastic, but, most importantly, we assembled an amazing football team. The talent that is at this football club is top class.

'I'm sure with the players, the chairman and the support the club has, the club will only keep going forwards.

'I really do appreciate everyone turning up today and being so kind.'

Well said, and well appreciated and I applaud him for it. Despite the mixed reception he did receive a standing ovation when his speech ended - and rightly so.

It is said that one person shouted out 'Judas' as he spoke, to which he simply shock his head and another was led away by Police. Whilst I am not best pleased with the fella, I would be lying through my teeth if I said otherwise, on this occasion he, and the cup winners, were being honoured for a remarkable achievement and the events of the past few days have nothing to do with that even though I know it is hard to keep them away from that.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is the leader of the council, spoke about the achievements that he managed with the club and how grateful he and the city of Portsmouth were for this, but also spoke of his sorry for it to be ending: 'this is a very different speech from one I had planned. It is only right and proper to say that this would have been a speech about celebration and thanks.

'It still is - winning the FA Cup was a great feat, but it must now also be about sadness and goodbyes.

'Harry has had a huge impact on this city. I was thinking, what do I call him?'

The News says that someone shouted 'Judas' to this - again, something that saddens me, as in this instance and at that time the ceremony was about the clubs achievements of last season: 'is it Mr Redknapp or Mr Harry Redknapp? But no, to everyone here in Portsmouth, he is just Harry.

'Six hundred million people around the world watched us win the FA Cup. Around the UK and around the world, people saw Portsmouth and they saw us win.

'It put us on the map and the pride of the city when the cup came home here to Portsmouth was a wonder to behold.'

It was a wonderful honour for all involved, it is just a shame that it had to come after such a traumatic few days.

The final chapter in the Harry Redknapp and Portsmouth Football Club story has now been written, in a way I take my hat off to him for turning up - I am not sure I would have had the nerve even though I had earned it, but earn it he had, we and he can now all move on to what will hopefully still be a bright future for us...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 28 2008

Time: 6:22PM

Your Comments

Well said Rug - it's a shame the team's achievment was overshadowed. Despite what anyone says Redknapp's done a hell of a lot for this club, and we wouldn't be where we are without him. Like he said his timing couldn't have been worse, but I personally suspect there are a lot of other factors that our board aren't letting on. Congratulations to the team though - I was lucky enough to be inside the Guildhall when we received the freedom of the city in 2003 when we got promoted. I was at work today though so couldn't make it, but I'm proud to be a Pompey fan, more than ever now.
PFCGino
I wouldn't want to take anything away from Harry's achievements whilst with us, but i forgave him once for jumping ship, i even started to sing his name again, i believed he would retire here as he's told the media so many times this season. Then he does this to us sorry Harry your a great manager but i shall never forgive you for the way you lied to us and treated us with contempt. It wouldn't have been so bad if you hadn't gone around telling everyone this was going to be your last club. Thankfully Tony Adams will provide continuity and i think his influence on the team has been greatly underestimated.
Steve C
Apparently HR was ushered out of the back door after the event while the team took the accolades. But agree he has done such a fantastic job for the club and the city and it is so so sad it had to end the way it has.
eastneydave
Harry certainly deserved this, as did all the squad, such a pity about the timing. I wondered if they should have postponed it a couple of months until the dust settled a bit, but they didn't and maybe it helped to make us remember what Harry did, and for maybe him to leave under less of a cloud. I'm beginning to feel it wasn't the fact he left, but the suddenness and the manner of it, and of course the way he'd taken us all for mugs with his lies . . . And it was good for him to have a chance to say goodbye to his players, for them as well as for him. I do want to remember the Redknapp era fondly, it will just take a bit more time to get over the shock.
tracyc
I suppose it was timed for half term so the kids could be there which is a helpful thing to do. Were Pedro and Sulley and Milan there too?
hammersmithblue
Just looked at photo on the PFC website and it shows Sol getting framed thingy from the mayor and on the desk in front of them is what could be Ken Dodd's hair on holiday or alternatively a small dog which escaped from Paris Hilton's holdall. Sounds as if the anti-Harry stuff was not as much as the press wanted there to be. Ridiculous story in the News about kiddies crying cos Harry didn't come to open their playground this morning. Kiddies of parents who were calling him Judas etc I suppose. Still they got Nugent and Belhadj instead which I would have been much more impressed with at six years old.
hammersmithblue
Harry has my grudging admiration for turning up. Glad things went well with only the odd boo, although I think the police did ask some people to leave. I for one, am getting over the shock now, somehow it doesn't seem so bad tonight, we don't know the whole story so we shouldn't really judge him too harshly.
Gandor
Im glad it didnt go to badly.. u always get 1 or 2 idiots
nodster
Good read Rug. HR would have got more abuse for not turning up so you repect him for that. The council had to plan this & the timing was unfortunate, time to draw a line & move on, well until January that is.
storagematt
Idiots? or just people who feel let down, hurt and stunned? We all react in different ways. Deep cuts take a while to heal.
pentonpompey
Thank you to Harry for everything you have done to Portsmouth FC on the field. The End.
sneakay
Why feel let down? he doesn't owe us anything. We are in the best shape we have ever been, we've won the FA cup, he's brought in and could you say trained Adams to step in. Honestly, I dont think he could have done anymore with the club I would like to see Spurs win something with Harry, he deserves to do well. There aren't many genuine people out there today!
nodster
Harry...Genuine???? DO me a favour!!!!!!
pentonpompey
It was a bitter pill I had to swallow when I heard on the 7am news on Sunday that Harry was on his way to Spurs. But life goes on and I admire him for facing the music he was obviously going to get from a small childish section of crowd at the "freedom" ceremony. He has done Pompey Proud in his time here and deserves the recognition that he received. So let us be big enough to say thank you for what he has done for the city. Now let us go forward with his very able successor and give HIM all the support and help that he is so obviously going to need. colsue.
colsue
 

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