Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp was mugged by Spanish thieves as he walked to a stadium in Madrid on Thursday night.
The 63-year-old was attacked by a group of six men as he walked to the Vicente Calderon stadium in the Spanish capital.
Two men distracted him by kneeling down in front of him and tugging at his trousers as he walked outside the stadium.
While he was distracted the other four thieves went through his pockets, stealing his credit cards and cash.
Mr Redknapp was also carrying his passport and mobile phone, but neither item was taken.
He was in the Spanish city to watch a transfer target alongside his assistant manager Kevin Bond.
Talking about the incident today, Mr Redknapp explained, ‘I’m walking round the outside of the stadium, it’s a fantastic atmosphere, there’s all little stalls there selling sweets.’
‘I got some sweets, me and Kevin, and it was so packed. The next thing there’s two guys on their knees in front of me and I felt someone pull my overcoat.
‘I thought ‘What’s that?’, and didn’t take any notice. The next thing there’s two guys on their knees in front of me and they’ve got my trousers and they keep doing this tugging with them, pulling them.
‘I thought ‘What are you doing?’ The next thing he’s got my keys on the floor.
‘I didn’t know whether to knee him in the gob or not.
‘And I thought ‘Is he a blind man or someone having trouble walking properly? What are they doing, these two blokes?’
‘I’m going ‘Let go of my trousers’, pushing them away. While I’m doing that they’re rifling my pockets, there were about six of them. And then they went.
‘I thought ‘What are they doing?’ I went to put my hand in my pockets and realised what they’d done.
‘They took everything. All my money, credit cards, everything really.’
The Tottenham manager did not report the incident to police and had to borrow money from Kevin Bond to pay for a taxi back to his hotel and for dinner last night before returning to the UK.
He admitted the incident had unsettled him and he left the stadium 15 minutes before the end of the game.
He does not believe that the attackers knew who they were targeting.
‘They probably didn’t know who I was but they had a result, I’ll tell you that,’ said Redknapp, who was also watching a transfer target during the game.
‘I wasn’t wearing anything flash. I had an overcoat on. I just probably looked stupid or something, and they thought ‘Here’s one here, he’s not Spanish, obviously, and we’re looking for a foreigner.’
‘They were probably in this restaurant we were in, drinking the best wine and having the best steak there. Me and Kevin didn’t have enough money to have a glass of wine.’
Redknapp joked that Mr Bond may have been in on the theft.
‘I don’t know what Kevin was doing while it was going on,” Redknapp said.
‘He said ‘I saw them doing it.’ And I said: ‘Why didn’t you do anything then? I thought ‘Strange that, Kev.’ I hope he wasn’t part of the gang! He’s got a few quid on him today.’
by Terence Johns