Former West Ham United Academy director Tony Carr is a rarity in football.

For Carr is a West Ham legend without having ever kicked a ball for his boyhood club.

Instead Carr saved and made the Hammers millions of pounds over the years as he oversaw the recruitment, coaching and development of a string of stars and internationals.

The 68-year-old brought through a golden generation for West Ham and also set the likes of John Terry on their way to careers at the very top.

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A West Ham legend without kicking a ball

His prized talents were Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe. But there were scores of others who forged successful careers for themselves elsewhere too.

He was granted a testimonial at Upton Park in 2010 which was attended by a host of his former charges.

Carr then left West Ham under something of a cloud in 2016 after 43 years.

 

And in a revealing interview with The Telegraph, the legendary coach has lifted the lid on his acrimonious departure for the first time.

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Carr lifts lid on acrimonious Hammers departure

Carr insists he was angry at the way things ended at West Ham. But he added that time has been a great healer. Particularly regarding his fallout with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

But in a revelation that has shades of the treatment Bobby Moore received many moons ago under different club owners, Carr also claimed he only gets to watch matches at the London Stadium if family or friends have spare tickets.

“Despite continued friendships with current captain Mark Noble and club legend Sir Trevor Brooking, in the absence of an official link to the club Carr now attends matches only with friends and family who have spare tickets,” the Telegraph claims.

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‘If bridges are broken I’d like to rebuild them’

“The club decided they wanted a clean break and I just got the impression I had to leave. I’ve got no animosity towards anyone there, everyone moves on with their lives and I see things a lot differently now to how I did two years ago.

“A lot of water goes under the bridge, so you reflect and look back and I suppose my anger at the time was the disappointment at the situation.

“They have always been and will always be my club and if there was any way in the future I could go back and be of some value somewhere I would be happy to do that. If there were any bridges broken then I’d like to rebuild them. My phone number is still the same.”