Tottenham striker Defoe regrets how he left West Ham

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe admits he regrets the way he left West Ham United.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe admits he regrets the way he left West Ham United.

Defoe grew up not far from Upton Park, in Stratford, and was adored by the Hammers faithful until he asked for a transfer less than 24 hours after they went down in 2003.

But he admits to the ITV4:: “It was a massive mistake. I didn’t really want to do it.

“We’re talking about leaving the club I was in love with at the time because I came through the youth system with my friends, the fans loved me there. They were brilliant - every game they sang my name.

“The person who represented me at the time said, ‘You need to hand in a transfer request and get in early because all the lads are going to leave.’

“I remember going in and I was so nervous. It was (then Hammers chief executive) Paul Aldridge and I gave him the letter and he said, ‘What’s this?’ And I said, ‘It’s a transfer request’.

“And he looked at me as if to say, ‘Are you kidding?’

“The backlash was crazy. I felt like I was on my own and people were absolutely abusing me.

“To this day I can imagine West Ham fans look at me and think, ‘Who does he think he is? How can you do that? You’re a Judas’. And it’s quite sad really because I can honestly say I still love that club.”

 
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