Watch football legend Harry Redknapp surprise Henlow team with motivational pre-cup final pep talk

A Henlow sports team was proud to receive a good luck message from none other than footballing legend Harry Redknapp.

By Jo Robinson
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 4:49 pm

Players in the Engineers Arms FC watched the motivational video on Saturday, April 23, ahead of a very important match the following day.

The lads were about to face St John's FC in cup final of the Hitchin Sunday Football Division One and hoped that the star's words of wisdom - including advice to "not have too many lagers" - would bring them luck.

In his message, Harry said: "Hiya lads, it's Harry Redknapp. I hear you've got a big game coming up, the cup final, well done for getting there.

Left: Former player and football manager, Harry Redknapp, being filmed for the good luck video. Right: The Engineers Arms FC.

"But now really you've gotta make sure you win it!"

Harry advised the lads that there should be "no more drinking between now and the cup final" and that manager, Leighton Machin, should "set an example" to the team.

"You are definitely banned from The Engineers Arms until the game's over!" he joked.

However, despite their best efforts, the team lost on penalties 4-2, but were very grateful to Harry for giving them an extra boost before the big day.

Harry Redknapp gives a thumbs up to players in the Engineers Arms FC.

Goalkeeper, Dan Bentley, 35, said: "We were playing a team that are top of the league and doing really, really well.

"I suppose we were the underdogs, but we turned up and put in quite a good performance; we were leading until 75 minutes in."

Dan told the Chronicle that lads gave "a great account of themselves" and that the video certainly helped to "relax, inspire, and gee them up".

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The players in the pub.

He added: "A big thank you to Harry for putting the message together for us and sorry that we couldn't get the win on the day. But I'm proud of the lads involved. We did ourselves proud."

The surprise message was Dan's idea because he works for Stapleton's, and Harry is an ambassador for one of their tyre brands.

Whilst filming a new promotional video, Dan was able to ask the former Spurs and West Ham manager if he could create a short good luck message.

Dan added: "He's completely down to earth, just a really, really genuine guy. They say you shouldn't meet your heroes, but you should definitely meet Harry!"

The Engineers Arms FC was founded over 25 years ago and originally run by the current pub landlord, Kevin Machin.

His son, Leighton, then took over the team and it is now his final season as manager.

Commenting on the surprise, Kevin added: "The video was brilliant, good fun. It's not the first one Harry’s done. He did one two seasons ago for the team, too!"

Landlady Sharon Severn told the Chronicle: "Every time they have a football match they always come for a drink. They are a really nice bunch of lads, very polite, always polite to the staff.

"They come in and have a laugh."

Harry has previously managed AFC Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City.

Meanwhile, back in Henlow, it's Leighton's last season with the team - "and there's now rumours for Harry to step into the role!" laughed Dan.