After the huge success of Harry’s Heroes: The Full English, Harry Redknapp is reuniting his team of ex-England footballers for a re-match against their greatest rivals.
Last year, despite being a long way from match fit, the England icons beat Germany’s legends team in a satisfying 4-2 victory. Now the Germans want a re-match on home turf, and Harry is taking the squad over to Europe in a new three part series called, Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh.
After warm-up matches in France and Italy, the team will head to Germany for the ultimate grudge match.
There’s a few substitutions in this year’s team, so here’s the starting line-up…
Harry Redknapp (ITV)
Long before he was crowned King of the Jungle, Harry played for AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United. Eventually he switched to managing, looking after teams including Queen’s Park Rangers, West Ham, Tottenham Hotspurs and Southampton, as well as giving advice to his son Jamie and his nephew Frank Lampard, both of whom played for England.
Harry established himself as a national treasure outside the realm of football after his stint on I’m a Celeb, winning a new legion of fans with his dedication to wife Sandra and his never-ending ream of showbiz stories.
Harry’s Heroes: The Full English saw him return to ITV for his own show, his first after his jungle win. The show was a ratings success and also won critical acclaim for the honest conversations it portrayed about men’s mental health.
Harry is thrilled to be back for more. “It was fantastic,” he says. “Everybody loved the first series, not only seeing the footballers, but from a mental health perspective, and issues that one or two of the boys have had. It was really great and came across really well. I just like being round the lads, all great players, great characters, for me now being retired, to spend some time with lads like that it makes my day.”
John Barnes (Getty)
The former Liverpool left-winger, 55 acted as Redknapp’s assistant on the first series, after an injury meant that he couldn’t play. He obviously enjoyed the role as despite a lack of injuries this time, he’s back in a coaching job again this year!
After retiring from the beautiful game in 1999, John briefly managed Celtic, Jamaica and Tranmere Rovers.
Non-football fans may recognise Barnes from his now-infamous rap in the 1990 World Cup song World in Motion, or from his stint in Strictly Come Dancing in 2007 (finishing in 7th place on the show, he was the first male celeb to receive a 10 from the judges for his salsa).
More recently, Barnes starred in the 21st (and penultimate) series of Celebrity Big Brother, and was the third to be evicted.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler couldn’t make it this year, so he sent one-time teammate Michael Owen in his place – not a bad sub!
Michael was the boy wonder of English football, bursting onto the scene just in time for the 1998 World Cup in France. The youngest player to ever represent England at a World Cup, his energy and talent made him hugely popular, especially when he started racking up the goals.
At club level, Michael has played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City. He’s now a regular pundit and commentator.
New to the team this year, Lee is a midfielder who played at Aston Villa for 13 years, during which time he earned one cap for England. He went on to play for a variety of teams including Stoke City, Sheffield United, Leicester City and Blackpool. Now he’s joining Harry’s team to see if he can play his part in taking another victory against the Germans.
David Seaman (ITV)
The 56-year-old goalkeeper played for England for 15 years until 2003, and has since had a successful media career.
As well as a brief stint on sports quiz They Think It’s All Over, he appeared on Strictly spin-off Strictly Ice Dancing and the ITV equivalent, the first series of Dancing on Ice in 2006 – placing fourth.
Seaman returned to the ice for Dancing on Ice’s ninth series, and ended up marrying his new Dancing on Ice partner Frankie Poultney in 2015.
David was delighted to be back with his teammates for Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh. “It was great, it was as good as the first one and a little bit better because we seemed to be together for a lot longer time and the periods we were together it was great,” he says.
“It was exactly like being on tour, like we were stuck in hotels, stuck on the bus, boredom stuff that people don’t realise, but, yeah, it does, it brings back memories, and the banter and everything, it was like being a footballer again, it was great.”
Paul Merson (ITV)
The 50-year-old former Arsenal midfielder starred in the England line-up between 1991-98. After retiring in 2012 (he returned in 2017 to play for Welsh Football League division three side Caerau FC), he has become a regular pundit on Sky Sports on Gillette’s Soccer Saturday.
Paul credits the first series of Harry’s Heroes with helping him turn his life around, as he confronted his struggles with alcohol and gambling. “This show saved my life no question, 100%,” he says. “I went into treatment twice before and it never helped because people made me go in, the club made me go in or the FA made me go in. This is the time I did it for me, I thought you know what, I’m fed up…I wanted to do it.”
This series sees Paul try to help teammate Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock clean his act up, after doctors tell him he needs to stop drinking.
Matt Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier (ITV)
The 50-year-old player turned pundit played midfield for Southampton between 1986-2002, and represented England internationally between 1994-1997.
Following his retirement as a player, Le Tissier became a football pundit, working as a panellist on the Sky Sports show Soccer Saturday. He also launched a football agency alongside former Southampton teammate Francis Benali.
Other media appearances include a surprisingly impressive appearance on Countdown, first as a guest on Dictionary Corner, before taking part and winning three shows in 2009.
“It was great fun to be back for a second series, but getting back into the fitness again was hard,” he says. “I let my fitness standards drop. I lost a lot of weight for the first series, but it crept back on again, I’ve not exercised quite as much, so its always hard to start up the physical side of things again. It’s enjoyable though, once you get into it, you actually look forward to it.”
Chris Waddle (ITV)
The 58-year-old former midfielder had an incredible football career, playing for Newcastle, Spurs, Sheffield Wednesday and Marseille as well as appearing on the England side between 1985-1991.
After working as a coach for a year in 1997, Waddle has now become a pundit, working as an analyst for BBC Radio Five Live’s Premier League football coverage.
“I thought it would be really good to be back in shape again,” he said. “I’ve gone that extra mile, but the hard part was getting used to it.
“I think we’ve had a go. You had to think for yourself, in a way, that shows the bit of discipline you’ve had to put in.”
Rob Lee (ITV)
The 53-year-old made a name himself as a midfielder for Charlton Athletic and Newcastle United between 1983-2002, as well as an England player between 1994-98.
After retiring in 2006, Lee has since worked as a pundit and commentator, working alongside John Burridge for TEN Sports’ UEFA Champions League Fixtures.
Ray Parlour (ITV)
The 46-year-old was a midfielder for Arsenal from 1992-2004, and featured in the England team in 1999.
After retiring in 2007, Parlour has worked as a pundit for BBC Radio 5 Live and Talksport.
“It’s been great fun, it’s been great being back with all the lads,” he said. “It’s one of those situations, where we’ve laughed more than we were serious. That’s the most important thing.”
Lee Sharpe (ITV)
The 47-year-old famously played for Manchester United and Leeds as a midfielder throughout the 90s, as well as a two-year stint on the England squad between 1991-93.
Non-football fans may remember Sharpe from the original run of Celebrity Love Island back in 2005, as well as a stint on Dancing on Ice in 2007. He also worked as a pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day 2.
“It was a funny show to do and the boys are hilarious when they’re back together, it was like being back at school,” he said. “I went into it thinking that I wanted to be serious and get into shape; I needed a reason and the show gave me the motivation.”
Mark Chamberlain (ITV)
The 57-year-old right back played for Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Brighton during, and played for the national side between 1982 and 1984.
He then became player-manager for non-league team Fareham Town, before moving onto the coaching staff at Portsmouth.
Mark Wright (ITV)
The 55-year-old defender had spells playing for Southampton and Liverpool, and was a fixture on the England squad between 1984-1996.
After retiring, Wright has been an ambassador for Foster Care Associates. In 2016, he launched Red Sports alongside England striker Michael Owen, a company that looks to develop coaching programmes in China.
Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock
Razor Ruddock (ITV)
The 50-year-old Liverpool and West Ham defender had one appearance on the England line-up in 1994. He is perhaps better known nowadays for his appearances on reality TV, including a stint on I’m a Celebrity in 2003 and Big Brother in 2013.
This series sees him confront his issues with alcohol, as Harry and Paul Merson encourage him to consider his future.
Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh airs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9pm on ITV. To find out what else is on this week, check out our TV Guide.