Harry and Sandra Redknapp, childhood sweethearts, will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in June of next year. Their love story has captivated the nation’s hearts, with their dedication to one another as obvious today as it was when an ambitious 17-year-old Harry first laid eyes on Sandra at the Two Puddings bar in Stratford.
While their romance may appear to be a fairy tale, the couple has seen their fair share of heartbreak, from severe health worries to a terrifying car accident in Rome and a tragic miscarriage. For the first time, Harry, 75, and Sandra, 75, relate their story of “more than 50 years of love, life, and turmoil” and how they overcame their marriage’s hardest “test.”
The Redknapp’s reveal in exclusive extracts from their book memoirs When Harry Met Sandra: They experienced a ‘heartbreaking’ miscarriage before becoming pregnant with their first child, Mark. Sandra had a hysterectomy when physicians discovered she had ovarian cancer in its early stages.
After a terrible vehicle incident in Rome, Harry was told he was “fortunate to be alive.”How the 2012 tax evasion trial was the biggest ‘test’ in marriage. They wanted Jamie’s now ex-wife Louise to compete on Strictly for years after she had not done “anything for herself.”
Intimate information about Jamie’s surprise wedding to Frida. Their anguish when Frank Lampard’s life “came apart” after his mother Patricia (Sandra’s sister) died. Sandra’s life-threatening sepsis struggle was underway as Harry prepared to depart for I’m A Celebrity.
Harry and Sandra married four years after their initial meeting at Two Puddings. Sandra discovered she was pregnant with her first child two years later, in 1968. Harry and Sandra Redknapp, childhood sweethearts, will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary next year. But heartbreak hit 12 weeks into her pregnancy when she miscarried.
“I remember that day so clearly,” she says. “The month was February 1969. It had been snowing all day while I was working at the salon. When I had to leave that evening, there were no buses in Barking owing to heavy weather, so I had to walk back in the snow.
“My feet were cold, and I couldn’t feel anything in my hands.” I was already feeling a little ill – weak and slightly dizzy. I couldn’t wait to get back home to the comfort of my own bed. “However, by the time I walked through the front door, I realized I had lost our child.”
Sandra described how she was “terrified” that she would miscarry again with her son Mark after falling pregnant months later. But once they had Mark, 52, all their problems vanished. Three years later, Harry and Sandra welcomed Jamie, 49. Their lives, however, ‘came crashing down during a time in America, when Harry was left bankrupt after being duped out of their life savings by a conman football club owner.
Sandra returned to her hairdressing work in the United Kingdom, charging £1.50 for haircuts to support the family. As fate would have it, Harry was offered a coaching position at Bournemouth FC with Dave Webb – but “things were about to go a lot worse than our financial worries,” Sandra explains.
After receiving a phone call from concerned doctors days before Christmas, the mother-of-two was told she needed surgery on Valentine’s Day due to cysts in her ovary, but months later she was told she needed a hysterectomy for ovarian cancer.
While Sandra battled life-threatening sepsis and was inadvertently ran over by her husband, leaving her foot “sliced like a piece of bacon,” Harry has also had frightening health concerns over the years. Perhaps the most notable was when doctors informed him he was “fortunate to be alive” after his “minibus soared into the air and landed upside down” after being hit at 90mph by a Volkswagen Golf following Italy’s victory over the Republic of Ireland.
“Their automobile was shattered to pieces, and our minibus was squished up like a crisp package.” “I was coated in petrol, terrified that I was going to be blown up in the debris,” he recalls of the Rome incident.”I was told I was laying on my back on the road, no doubt in shock.” When the ambulance arrived, they assumed I was dead and draped a blanket over my head.”
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