Up a ladder in the freezing cold could be the reason Charlie Austin scales the heights – according to his QPR boss.
Harry Redknapp reckons one of the reasons Austin is the club’s leading scorer with 10 goals is because the striker was a bricklayer in the middle of winter from age 16.
The manager reckons Austin’s appreciates what he’s got now – unlike a fair few who have football handed them on a plate and end up drifting out of the game.
“Charlie’s been the other side of what it’s like to be out there laying bricks all day in the freezing cold and cutting your hands in the middle of winter, so he’s going to hang on to every minute of being a pro now,” said Redknapp.
“Sometimes there’s a lot just given to players. It’s different to the way we were brought up.”
Redknapp joined local club West Ham when he was 15 in 1962 at a time when young hopefuls were also expected to be unpaid skivvies.
“We all had stuff to do – cleaning boots all polishing away - and doing the kit,” Redknapp added. “They don’t have jobs at clubs – you can’t ask them to do that anymore.
“Everything’s laid on including food. We used to go up the caff with a four-shilling dinner voucher and had steak and kidney pie and it didn’t do us any harm.”