Football

'I Was Going To Sign For Them When Redknapp Rang Me And Said "Stop!'''

'I Was Going To Sign For Them When Redknapp Rang Me And Said "Stop!'''

The transfer window can be a stressful time for supporters. They are constantly online looking for any hint that their club could be about to sign a new player, with the end of the window bringing a certain sense of peace and serenity.

It is much the same for players. Their futures can be decided at the drop of a hat, quite often with very little warning. Even when they think they are on their way to a new club things can change very quickly.

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That is according to Kevin Doyle, who experienced plenty of drama during January transfer windows in his playing days. The most dramatic example came in the 2014 winter window.

Speaking on The Buildup podcast this week, Doyle revealed that he was very close to joining Middlesbrough, only to receive an 11th hour phone call from QPR boss Harry Redknapp.

He recalled:

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I was nearly gone to Celtic two Januarys in-a-row, I was about to go to Everton, I was about to go to Aston Villa. It was very close to these things happening, your wife is half looking at houses and planning. It's pretty stressful.

Every footballer, during every transfer window, is always on edge. It's very rare, unless you've just signed a new contract, that you're not linked or potentially moving somewhere.

The QPR one was quite good for me at the time, I enjoyed it. I was actually driving on the M1 to join Middlesbrough.

I was going up there, their owner and manager was waiting for me in a hotel in Middlesbrough and I was driving up. I was halfway there.

QPR had tried to sign me a couple of times in that window but couldn't agree terms with Wolves, Middlesbrough had done it.

I was going up there to sign for them when Harry Redknapp rang me and said 'wherever you are stop, we've agreed a deal, just wait until we get it signed off with the club'.

I had to pull into the services on the M1 at about eight o'clock at night. Middlesbrough were starting to ring me 'going where are you, you should be here by now'.

It was terrible. I felt awful, but I wanted to go to QPR. They were top of the league and Middlesbrough were in the play-offs.

QPR had much better players and I really fancied playing under Harry Redknapp. I just turned around and went back to London, arrived at 3am and did a medical at 6am.

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Gary Connaughton

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