“I’m going to rip his head off…” – Harry Redknapp reveals fury after Paolo Di Canio’s 2000 sportsmanship against Everton

Paolo Di Canio West Ham Everton

With five minutes remaining of a game West Ham had equalised in only moments earlier, Di Canio caught the ball when he had an opportunity to score, with Toffees goalkeeper Paul Gerrard down injured.

Di Canio later received an award from Gerrard for his fair play, but Hammers boss Redknapp and team-mate Stuart Pearce were far from happy with the Italian’s unpromoted act of generosity.

"My God, the day he [Di Canio] caught the ball at Everton with five minutes to go," Rednapp recalled on talkSPORT. "We needed the points badly and instead of heading it in, he catches the ball so Gerrard can get treatment.

“I’ve come off at the end and I’m like, ‘What’s he done?’ Stuart Pearce comes thundering into the dressing room and says, ‘Don’t let me near him, I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him, I’m going to rip his head off!’

"Two minutes later I’ve got to do an interview live on Sky and the guy says to me, ‘What a great day for football’.

"The game wasn’t that good! He then went ‘Di Canio, great sportsmanship, you must be so proud of him...’

"I’m going. ‘Oh yeah, yes of course, wonderful’ – but we want to kill him, really."

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Joe Brewin

Joe was the Deputy Editor at FourFourTwo until 2022, having risen through the FFT academy and been on the brand since 2013 in various capacities. 

By weekend and frustrating midweek night he is a Leicester City fan, and in 2020 co-wrote the autobiography of former Foxes winger Matt Piper – subsequently listed for both the Telegraph and William Hill Sports Book of the Year awards.