Harry Redknapp football reunion show praised for frank mental health discussion

Harry Redknapp during Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham Racecourse. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
Harry Redknapp during Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham Racecourse. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

Harry Redknapp’s new football show Harry’s Heroes: The Full English has been applauded for raising awareness of mental health problems in men.

The programme, airing over two nights on ITV, sees the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here winner reunite a squad of retired footballers to see if they can regain their fitness ahead of a match with a team of German counterparts.

Read more: Redknapp almost pulled out of I’m a Celeb

The 72-year-old manager is joined by former England international John Barnes as his assistant, with the team including the likes of Lee Sharpe, Chris Waddle and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock.

Harry Redknapp is crowned King of the Jungle at the end of the 2018 series of ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’. (Credit: ITV)
Harry Redknapp is crowned King of the Jungle at the end of the 2018 series of ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’. (Credit: ITV)

Viewers took to social media to praise the show’s nostalgic quality, but also to discuss the “inspiring” moment in which a fishing trip prompted former Arsenal player Paul Merson to reveal his struggles with addiction.

The 50-year-old told England goalkeeping legend David Seaman and striker Robbie Fowler about his battles with gambling and drugs.

He revealed he once felt suicidal after losing £20,000 in a single weekend.

After the first episode aired on Monday night, the 50-year-old defender Ruddock urged people to watch the concluding part, teasing that there is “tear jerking stuff” ahead.

As well as Merson’s candid revelations about his mental health, fans praised the show for being heart-warming and charming at a time of political division and tragic news.

The second episode will follow the team on a trip to a warm weather training camp and see them battle with injuries ahead of their battle with the German squad.

Read more: Redknapp says he had nothing in common with campmates

Harry’s Heroes: The Full English concludes on Tuesday evening at 9pm.