ANYONE who enjoyed the first series of Harry Heroes: The Full English would have known just what to expect when ex-West Ham and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp once again rounded up his motley collection of former England internationals and headed back off to Europe for a rematch with a similarly past-their-prime German side.
And the second series of Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh certainly did not disappoint as the likes of David Seaman, Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock regrouped and reboarded the team bus for a road trip that would take them from France through to Italy and then on to Germany in a blaze of banter, baguettes and bad habits.
Overweight and underprepared, Harry’s boys serve up entertaining fare in this three-parter which concluded last night [all episodes available on the ITV Hub].
There are friendlies, fall-outs, injuries and innuendo as this team of veterans set out on a quest to repeat last year’s 4-2 victory.
But while the warm-up matches were tough, the warm-down meetings were more tandoori, which did little to help our heroes as they huffed and puffed their way to a showdown with the old enemy.
An early weigh-in hammered home a sobering message that all had added unwelcome pounds to already impressive frames before another sign that this jolly boys outing comes with a fat slice of reality as Ruddock, the group’s larger-than-life off-field leader, revealed he had been told he required heart surgery and his boots would remain in his kit bag for the foreseeable future.
‘He’s got to change his lifestyle, stop boozing, stop eating rubbish food’, said Harry of the one-time Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham hard man, although it was a request that ultimately went unheeded as, following an afternoon of high jinx in a Parisian bar, an emotional and heartfelt bust-up between Ruddock and Merson, a man who has had his own share of problems with the bottle, ended in threats, tears and reconciliation. Ultimately, Razor headed home for medical reasons.
It is perhaps because of the blokeish nature of this programme that when the more serious moments come, such as Merson talking about his struggles with alcohol and Lee Hendrie of his battle with depression, they really do hit home. Indeed Merson said being on the show last year ‘saved my life’.
Even heroes have their flaws, making for a thoroughly watchable series and a road trip not to be missed.