'Hugh Grant paid my transfer fee to Fulham'


Fulham cult hero Robbie Herrera has recalled the fascinating story of Hugh Grant paying at least half of his £60,000 transfer fee in 1993.

Fulham had fallen on hard times in the early 1990s and were in the market for a new left-back, with Queens Park Rangers defender Herrera being identified as a target.

Then-Fulham chairman Jimmy Hill appealed to fans to donate what they could towards Herrera’s transfer fee, but the club couldn’t muster the funds.

Speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport, Herrera recalls: “I didn’t know too much about it [the donation], when it came to the clubs agreeing on a deal, Fulham couldn’t afford it.

“It went to a tribunal and I remember being in there in front of the FA panel.



Fulham cult hero Herrera was at the Cottage for five years
Fulham cult hero Herrera was at the Cottage for five years

“When they said it was going to be £60,000 I thought, ‘That’s all right, they’ve got a bargain to be fair.’ And Jimmy Hill, god bless him, said at the time, ‘Financially we can’t afford that.’

All hope looked to be lost for the struggling west London club, but then suddenly Fulham found themselves in the green.

“A few days later I got a call from Don [MacKay, ex-Fulham boss],” continues Herrera.

“It was deadline day and he said, ‘When you finish training come over, we’ve managed to sort out the money,’ and that was that.”



Hugh Grant is a lifelong Fulham fan
Hugh Grant is a lifelong Fulham fan

Shortly after the transfer was complete a rumour emerged that film star and lifelong Fulham fan Hugh Grant had put up the money for the fee.

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“Apparently he paid half of it,” said Herrera. “It was a £30,000 down payment and then £30,000 after so many games, and I have been told – and it came from good sources – that he put down either the initial instalment or he was going to pay the final instalment.

“I got a bit of stick off some of the lads, like Simon Morgan, who was a close friend of mine, and we were roommates. But it was all harmless and good-natured.”



Herrera went into coaching after his playing career ended and today manages Dorchester Town
Herrera went into coaching after his playing career ended and today manages Dorchester Town

Herrera never got the chance to meet Hugh, and the finer details of his transfer to Fulham remain shrouded in mystery.

But Herrera, who now manages Southern League Premier Division South side Dorchester Town, admits he’d have liked to have got the opportunity.

“No contact at all,” said Herrera. “It would have been nice to have met him and to have said thanks, but I couldn’t get anywhere near him.”





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