Dein's teenage diary scores with Grant

By Daniel Easterman , November 18, 2013
David Dein takes on Avram Grant at table football

David Dein takes on Avram Grant at table football

Avram Grant had an expert guide for his visit to the Four Four Jew exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Camden.

The former Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham boss toured the display on Jews and football in the company of his friend David Dein, who supplied one of the key exhibits — his diary from 1958, featuring the then 15-year-old’s reaction to the Munich air crash, in which Manchester United players died.

Mr Grant was visibly moved as the ex-Arsenal and FA luminary read out the excerpt from his diary (the following page dutifully recorded his attendance at an Arsenal reserves game).

Aside from the diary, Mr Grant showed particular interest in a video on the Y-word controversy at Tottenham. His own view was that rather than trying to impose a ban on the chants, “it’s better to focus on education.

Education all over the world needs to change a little bit. People always want to see a big action like banning supporters from grounds. I prefer to ask why it is happening and then find the way forward and stop it.”

He also reflected wistfully on his time as a Premier League manager. “More than anything I miss the competition,” he said. “I know everyone speaks about Chelsea and the Champions League and, of course, I enjoyed it. But my Portsmouth days were the most exciting.

“The team was almost going into bankruptcy, no one was paying us any money, no players. But when I saw the supporters — hard-working people totally behind the team — I told my wife: ‘I’m staying no matter what.’

“When you are in football, you can learn a lot about life. You can learn how to achieve something in the right way and also in the negative way. You need to know how to deal with success and failure in the right way.”

Since opening last month, the JC-sponsored exhibition has attracted 3,500 visitors.

Last updated: 9:37am, November 20 2013