|Date of birth||12 January 1967|
|Place of birth||Dordrecht, Netherlands|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1995–1998||West Ham United||4||(0)|
|1996||→ Groningen (loan)||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Marco Boogers is a Dutch former professional footballer.
West Ham United
After a decade playing in the Netherlands, Boogers joined West Ham United from Sparta Rotterdam for £1 million in July 1995, even though West Ham manager Harry Redknapp had never seen him play. Coming on as a substitute against Manchester United at Old Trafford in only his second appearance for the club, he was almost immediately sent off for a violent rib-high challenge on Gary Neville. The press called it a "horror tackle" and suggested that Boogers was hired to injure a Manchester United player on purpose. Boogers himself claimed the wet grass made him slide too far and noted that Neville was able to finish the match, but nevertheless he was suspended for four matches. In November he returned as a substitute against Aston Villa in a 4-1 loss. He played his last match a month later, on 2 December, against Blackburn Rovers in a 4-2 defeat.
During his first few months at West Ham Boogers had been suffering from worsening pain in his knee. After an MRI scan he underwent an emergency surgery. As his recovery was expected to take three months he was given permission by Redknapp to return to the Netherlands on 28 December in order to attend the birth of his son. While Boogers was recovering from his injury Redknapp signed another striker, Iain Dowie, rendering Boogers surplus to requirements.
Return to the Netherlands
In February 1996, Boogers was loaned out to FC Groningen for the remainder of the season, but a few days before he was scheduled to play his first match his knee problems returned and worsened, sending him back in recovery until March 1997. Even though he was still under contract at West Ham, Boogers knew he would not play there again. He last visited the club in February 1996 and never returned .
He finished his career playing for FC Groningen, RKC, FC Volendam and FC Dordrecht.
Redknapp would later criticise Boogers in an interview, labelling him a poor player. He also claimed that he never saw Boogers play and that he contracted him on a whim based on a videotape where he appeared to be a world class player. Boogers himself disputed this and claimed scouts from West Ham United attended several of his matches with Sparta before signing him.
During his convalescence in the Netherlands, the Sun newspaper ran an article claiming Boogers was depressed and had been found on a mobile home site in the Netherlands. Bill Prosser, who worked as West Ham United's PA and travel arranger at the time, disputed this claim, explaining to The Guardian's "The Fiver":
- "Marco was depressed after being sent off in his second appearance for West Ham at Old Trafford and disappeared for a few days. West Ham's Clubcall reporter phoned me and said he was trying to find Boogers for an interview but could not reach him. He asked if I had booked any flights for him. I told him I hadn't, but added: 'If he has gone back to Holland, he's probably gone by car again'. The reporter misheard me and stated on Clubcall that I had said 'If he's gone back to Holland, he's probably gone to his caravan'. As you know, journalists often listen to Clubcall. Which explains why, the following day, the back page headline in the Sun was: 'Barmy Boogers Living in a Caravan'. The legend endures and Marco Boogers never played for West Ham again. I feel a bit responsible for his misfortune."
- "Marco Boogers Football Stats".
- "Cv Marco Boogers".
- "BBC SPORT | Football | Premiership | Never again". BBC News. 2003-04-01. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
- "Redknapp: Sandro's no Boogers". Fourfourtwo.com. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Kelly, Ciaran (2011-07-16). "The Curious Case of Marco Boogers". Backpage Football. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Marco Boogers". Westhamstats.info. 1967-01-12. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "Nederlander grootste miskoop ooit". DePers.nl. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Murphy, Alex (4 July 2007). "50 worst footballers". London: The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- "Cannon and Ball; and Thingummywigs | Football | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. 21 November 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- (Dutch) Profile