Marco Boogers’ bonkers life includes Neville cruncher and Redknapp savagery

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Marco Boogers might not be a household name in the Premier League though his short but less-than-sweet life in the top-tier might be among the most bizarre.

The Dutchman had spent a decade playing in his home country before West Ham snapped him up for £1million from Sparta Rotterdam back in 1995. Harry Redknapp was in charge at the time and admitted that he had never seen the forward play – and if he had, it might have been a different story.

In just his second appearance for the Hammers, Boogers came on as a second-half sub against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Within moments, he was heading back down the tunnel after a horror tackle on Gary Neville – planting a knee-high challenge on the Red Devils star.

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Boogers insisted the wet grass made him slip but, nevertheless, the press hounded the West Ham star and the striker left the country after being handed a four-match ban. Articles ran that the Hammers star was depressed and was living in a caravan back in the Netherlands.

However, West Ham's travel arranger Bill Prosser has since cleared up the matter and insisted it was a case of misinterpretation. "West Ham's Clubcall reporter phoned me and said he was trying to find Boogers for an interview but could not reach him.

"He asked if I had booked any flights for him. I told him I hadn't, but added: 'If he has gone back to Holland, he's probably gone by car again'. The reporter misheard me and stated on Clubcall that I had said 'If he's gone back to Holland, he's probably gone to his caravan'."

Just two more appearances followed for Boogers before being carted off back to Holland but if he yearned for Premier League obscurity, Redknapp would not oblige when he absolutely tore into him years later.

In 2018, the legendary British manager was asked who were his worst signings of all time – and Boogers got a shoutout after admitting he had only watched videos of the Dutchman prior to his signing. "Right from the word go Boogers' attitude stank," he said.

"He was among the stragglers at the back whenever we went for a run, he didn't want to work, he was lazy and the players all took an instant dislike to him. I suppose you could say he could play a bit, but certainly he was nowhere near as impressive as the video had made him out to be."


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