Sunday, April 18

Papa Bouba Diop: ‘I was lucky to have managed him’ – Harry Redknapp

Former Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has said he was “lucky to have managed” Papa Bouba Diop.

The ex-Senegal midfielder, who died on Sunday aged 42 , spent three seasons at Fratton Park and was part of Redknapp’s team that won the 2008 FA Cup.

“I was very lucky to have managed such a fantastic boy – he was special,” Redknapp told BBC Sport.

“He did a great job for me at Portsmouth and I think the Portsmouth fans loved him.”

Redknapp continued: “They called him the Wardrobe, he was so big you couldn’t move him. He was a big colossus – you wouldn’t want to play against him.

“I was talking to my son Jamie [Redknapp, former Liverpool and England midfielder] and he said what a nightmare he was to play against.

“He was so powerful – a giant of a man. He would run all over you, was great in the air and he could pass. He was just a special talent.

“I was distraught when I heard the big man had passed away, I just couldn’t believe it. He had been such a healthy, fit, strong guy.

“What an athlete – a giant of a man and to lose him at such an early age is so sad.”

Harry Redknapp said that despite Diop’s size he was a “gentle giant”.

“He was always happy – he never a bad word and would always laugh at the corniest of jokes.

“He looked aggressive on the pitch because he was so big but he always had a smile on his face.

“I never saw him have a cross word or be miserable – he was always upbeat.”

Source: BBC Sports

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