Former Hammers Academy director Tony Carr has described his final fateful meeting in 2016 with West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady to Tony Cottee.
The Friday E13 event in Romford was labelled a testimonial was to raise money to buy West Ham season tickets for Carr who only received tickets for one season after being made redundant.
He recounts the 2016 meeting by quoting:
Brady: “Don’t sit down. This won’t take long. I’m replacing you in your position – you don’t bring enough youngsters through into the first team”
Carr “There’s a reason for that Ms Brady…”
Brady responds “I don’t want to hear it. I’ve already made my mind up.”
Carr added “They offered me a day a week or redundancy, but they were effectively sacking me”
Carr spent 43 years at the club with seven of his players in the 2010 England squad.
Carr relies on friends and family for West Ham tickets insisting he would never ask the club for tickets out of pride.
He made his own way to Prague to watch the Europa Conference League final.
Last year Carr told the Athletic “I watch the games from behind the goal now,” he says. “My brother-in-law has four season tickets. Usually, he takes his two sons and his wife. When his wife doesn’t go, I tag along. I enjoy it. I was at the game against Sevilla, and what a great night that was. I do get some comments along the line of, ‘Oh, I thought you’d be sitting round there (with the club’s hierarchy), not with us’. But I don’t make a big thing of it. I think, among the fans, I’m quite well respected. Most of the fans who know me, or know what I’ve done, respect me, and that pleases me. People come up to ask for a photograph or to have a chat. That means a lot to me.”
In the same article he talks about his sacking saying “I found it all very upsetting, the rawness of it at the time… I was really upset, emotionally upset, after everything I had given to the club. The way it came about, and the way it was handled, it wasn’t the West Ham I thought I knew.”Carr makes the same point in the opening passages of the book, A Lifetime in Football at West Ham United featuring tributes from many of the A-list stars he produced for the club.
“It ended on a sad, unnecessarily bitter note,” wrote Carr. “I will admit that, initially, the whole business affected the way I regarded the club. Should I have expected more? You could say it’s just the way the football industry is, but it’s not the way I would do things.”
Extracts from the book can be found below:
The book is available from Amazon for £10.11 at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Carr-Lifetime-Football-United/