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Cherries: Redknapp pays tribute to former boss Bond
HARRY Redknapp last night joined the footballing world in remembering the life and career of “lovely man” John Bond.
Redknapp led the tributes to his fellow ex-Cherries boss, who died at the age of 79.
The duo first met when Redknapp was a 10-year-old autograph hunter and Bond a well-known star at West Ham United.
They went on to play together for the Hammers before joining forces at Cherries when manager Bond brought Redknapp to Dean Court in August 1972.
Mr Bond is credited with attracting bumper crowds to Dean Court as his exciting brand of football sparked one of the most memorable periods in the club’s history.
He guided Cherries to promotion from Division Four in 1970-71 and narrowly missed out on repeating the feat in Division Three before leaving to take charge of Norwich City.
Redknapp told the Daily Echo: “They were great times and great days. MacDougall and Boyer up front together – what a partnership – and he got those two playing.
“He brought so many good players to the club and built a fantastic team, which would probably have got promoted if John had stayed here.
“I am very proud that I was the first manager to ever take Bournemouth into the old second division. But I wouldn’t have been if John had stayed here. He’d have done that before me – no doubt about that.”
In an interview with the Daily Echo in 2010, Mr Bond recalled his Cherries reign when he said: “The stands were there but they didn’t get any crowds in them.
“They were averaging 3,000 when I took over and we finished up getting 18,000 and 21,000. I thought it was a very exciting time in the town. It was brilliant.”
Born in Essex, Mr Bond made his name during a distinguished playing career with West Ham.
The Hammers legend then played for Torquay United before moving into management with clubs including Cherries, Norwich City and Manchester City. He led Norwich to a League Cup final and also collected an FA Cup runners-up medal with Man City.
Redknapp added: “John had a great personality and he was flamboyant. Players wanted to play for him and he had a way of getting the best out of people.
“John knew the game and he did a great job at Bournemouth. He had a great career in football – as a player and managing.
“John was a fantastic coach, a real football man and a real family man. Above all else, they are a lovely family. You couldn’t dislike them. They are an absolutely proper, lovely, class family.
“I loved his company and I always loved being around him and talking football with him.”