He said: "Whenever I hear Harry Redknapp on TV or radio, my first reaction is to smile. Why? Because Harry will always remind me of the good times when I was making my way in the game.
"He is a man who represents everything that is enjoyable about football.
"He was my inspiration. The manager who took a chance on a gangly, slightly awkward teenager and gave me the momentum to become a Premier League and Champions League winner and an England international.
"Harry makes you feel 10 feet tall. We went out on that pitch believing we were the greatest footballers that ever lived, whatever our ability.
"Few managers can walk into a dressing room and generate an instant feel-good factor the way he does.
"His approach against the big teams was brilliant. All week he had you working so you would truly believe you were a better team than United or Arsenal.
"That was Harry at his absolute best and why there was talk about him being a possible England manager. I am sure he would have made a big success of the job."