Harry Redknapp surprises U14 girls' team with visit at kit prize-giving
- Credit: Nexen Tyre UK
A Stevenage grassroots football squad were in for the surprise of their lives over the weekend, when a sporting legend made a shock appearance at a prize-giving ceremony.
If winning a brand new kit wasn't enough, Stevenage Starlets U14s - the town's first all-girls club - were presented with their bounty by none other than ex-football manager and 2018 King of the Jungle Harry Redknapp on Saturday.
The team won a giveaway courtesy of Nexen Tyre UK, part of Letchworth-based Stapleton’s Tyre Services, which was open to all under 16 grassroots football teams. The Starlets came up trumps following several nominations.
Ahead of their 3-3 draw against Omonia Youth U14 Girls at Thomas Alleyne Academy, Harry also gave the team a pre-game talk.
His appearance was a surprise to the entire squad bar one member - who used her insider knowledge to rustle up a jam roly poly for the 2018 King of the Jungle - a home comfort that took social media by storm during his time on I'm a Celebrity... three years ago.
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Harry said of meeting the Starlets: “It was fantastic to see so many people getting involved and giving up their Saturday. I loved the enthusiasm.
"Stevenage Starlets are a great group of people and the level of football being played was brilliant!
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"Chuffed to be part of Nexen Tyre UK football kit giveaway and really looking forward to the Women’s Euros in England next Summer.”
“Grassroots sport is powerful," James Whishaw, Stapleton's head of marketing said. "It brings communities together and provides a sense of belonging.
"We value our local community relationships and are delighted to award a local team a brand-new football kit courtesy of Nexen Tyre UK. It was great to see the players excited about their new kit and working together as a team.”
Stevenage Starlets' chairman, Paul Manning, passed on his heartfelt thanks for what he called "an amazing experience".
"To win a kit in a competition is one thing, but to create that level of excitement around the club was great to see and we really appreciate your generosity with the kit, your time at a weekend and for arranging for a celebrity to visit to present it and coach the girls.
"We’d worked hard to keep everything a secret, so the reactions were great to see, especially as you introduced Harry!
"While the experience was focused on one lucky team within our club, Harry was very gracious with his time, signing autographs and posing for selfies with several of our other teams and numerous players.
He joked: "Just hope he made it back in time for the Bournemouth match!"