Paulo Futre bought the West Ham No.10 shirt off John Moncur for two weeks in the Algarve
West Ham flop Paulo Futre bought the number 10 shirt from John Moncur when he arrived at Upton Park, former manager Harry Redknapp has revealed.
The Portuguese star was handed the number 16 by the kitman when he signed for the club, but he refused to play in it.
He brought his lawyers to the Hammers to negotiate to be given his preferred squad number and even offered to pay-off fans who had bought ‘Futre 16’ shirts.
In the end, he swapped numbers with midfielder Moncur in exchange for two weeks in his luxury villa in Portugal.
In his book, currently being serialised by the Daily Mail, Redknapp revealed:
Our first game was at Arsenal and the team-sheets had already gone in, but there was a problem.
Eddie Gillam, our trainer, had given him the No 16 shirt and got it thrown back in his face. Next thing, Paulo was in my face, too. ‘Futre 10, not 16,’ he said. ‘Eusebio 10, Maradona 10, Pele 10; Futre 10, not f***ing 16.’
By this point, there were 45 minutes to kick-off. ‘It’s changed now, Paulo,’ I explained, as gently as I could. ‘We’ve got squad numbers and your number is 16. We didn’t choose that number. When you came, all the numbers were gone, so the kit man gave you No 16.’
‘No 10,’ he insisted. ‘Futre 10. No 10. Milan, Atletico Madrid, Porto, Benfica, Sporting — Futre 10.’
Now it was getting desperate. I tried to be firm. ‘Paulo, put your shirt on, get changed, please, we have a big game. If you don’t want to wear it, Paulo, off you go,’ I said.
And he did…
The following Monday, Paulo came back in with his team of lawyers to negotiate for the No 10 shirt.
At first we tried to tell him that we had sold so many replicas with ‘Futre 16’ on the back that it would be impossible to change, but he called our bluff.
‘How many?’ he asked. ‘I will pay £100,000.’ And that was when I knew this was an argument we could not win. Futre was willing to spend £100,000 just to be No 10. In the end, he got it a lot cheaper.
John Moncur, the No 10, agreed to swap, and Paulo let him have two weeks in his villa in the Algarve, which is about the best one there, on the cliffs overlooking the best golf course.