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Jamie refuses to give up game he loves

Posted on 24 March 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Jamie Redknapp admits it would 'break his heart' to give up football - his desire to play regularly at the top level for Spurs driving him to recover from another serious injury.

The club captain is delighted to report that he now feels fully fit and ready to battle for a starting place again after a five-month spell on the sidelines.

Jamie has played six reserve games and completed 20 and 25-minute stints off the bench in our last two Premiership fixtures against Newcastle and Manchester United.

Fully respected by his peers, coaching staff and management, Jamie has put in the extra hours on the training ground and sweated it out again in the gym to return.

How has he done it again? Did he ever feel like throwing it all in?

"It's been very difficult," he confessed over lunch at Spurs Lodge. "No-one likes being injured and I was struggling in the early part of the season, felt the knee early, had to address it and unfortunately that has meant missing a lot of games.

"Basically the knee was giving me a lot of pain, kept swelling up and there was a lot of debris in there. I had that taken away and that's helped, I feel a lot better now.

"I've felt down but I love the game so much that if I didn't, I'd have given up a couple of years ago.

"I love the game too much, enjoy playing and want to play as long as I can and I still want to play for Tottenham as long as I can. That's what drove me on when I was out.

"I love football and it would break my heart to have to give up so that's why I've kept going.

"Of course you do think the worst scenario at times but I feel fine so I've put those thoughts on the back burner until you have to face it.

"Most people would be the same. When you are out you want to get back. Ever since I can remember my life and job has been football so I don't want to give it up that easy.

"When the day comes along that I think I can't get around the pitch like I used to then I'll stop. But at the moment I feel I can do a job."

Thirteen years after his debut for Liverpool - the first of over 300 games for the Anfield giants - and after all the injury setbacks, Jamie is determined to prove himself all over again in the Premiership.

"It's an old saying but you are only as good as your last game and you've got to keep playing well all the time," he reasoned.

"I feel I have to prove myself again now. I want to show I'm fit, that I can get around the pitch and I feel I can.

"I'm pleased with that because a couple of weeks ago I didn't feel right but in the reserve game on Monday I got around the pitch, worked hard, got in some tackles and I feel ready now.

"You have to show that desire otherwise people can question you, especially in reserve games. If you don't put anything in, you won't get anything out."

It was suggested to Jamie that the sound of 65,000 boos greeting his appearance at Old Trafford must have signalled that he was back where he belongs.

"I've missed that," he joked. "It was nice to be involved at the weekend and against Newcastle, I played for the reserves again on Monday night and I feel ready to play now."