FOOTBALL manager Harry Rednapp launched the new and improved Elliotts’ branch in Fordingbridge on Thursday.

The Birmingham City Football manager joined branch manager John Tague and sales director Paul Cleary to cut the ribbon in true builders’ style, with a jack saw, mini chainsaw and bolt croppers.

Elliotts, is an independent supplier of building products, also invited customers and the Mayor of Fordingbridge, Cllr Malcolm Connolly to celebrate the occasion.

Mr Tague said: “The event was very successful and I want to thank our customers who came along. It was great to have Harry celebrate with us and cut the ribbon. He even told us a few football stories and signed footballs for the kids."

Harry Redknapp spoke to guests after cutting the ribbon and talked about his fond memories of football training in Fordingbridge.

He said: “All those years ago when I managed Bournemouth, we had nowhere to train pre-season – we never had a training pitch. John fixed us up so that we could train on Fordingbridge Rec for six weeks.

“I’ll never forget what John did for me then, what he did for the football club. When he asked me to come along today, it was a pleasure."

Over the past few months, major work has taken place at the Fordingbridge branch, which has been open since 1989.

Tom Elliott, the managing director of Elliotts, added: “We have utilised the space much better than before, making huge improvements both on the inside and out. We’ve created a completely new branch layout with extra space, so that more products are visible and instantly available to customers.

“It was fantastic to showcase the new-look branch to customers and show them the quality building materials Elliotts has to offer.”