Jermain Defoe has revealed that he still loves West Ham United and admits that he didn’t want to hand in a transfer request.
Defoe’s comments come just eight weeks before the opening of the January transfer window. The Tottenham forward has found himself behind Roberto Soldado in the White Hart Lane pecking order and is also fighting for a place in England’s World Cup squad.
The striker caused an uproar at Upton Park when he handed in a transfer request in 2003, less than 24 hours after they were relegated to the Championship.
AVB recently stated that Tottenham are committed to Defoe, who has 18 months to run on his deal at the club.
Defoe told Sports Life Stories on 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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