Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Neil HarrisNeil Harris
For other people named Neil Harris, see Neil Harris (disambiguation).
Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12/08/2007. * Appearances (Goals)
Neil Harris (born on July 12, 1977 in Orsett, Essex, England), is a professional football striker who currently plays for Millwall.
Harris attended Brentwood School, Essex in the year above Frank Lampard.
His football career began at Cambridge City. He was later sold to Millwall for £30,000 on March 26, 1999. In the same season, he was named player of the year for Millwall and later helped them to a Division 2 championship in 2000-01 with a remarkable goal scoring record. Harris was the Golden Boot winner for being the top English goal scorer during the 2000/01 season, earning him the nickname of "Bomber", in reference to Arthur Travers Harris. Neil Harris was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001, but after receiving intensive treatment including surgery, he was given the all clear a year later. [1]By the end of his Millwall career, Harris wasn't being played because the then player-manager Dennis Wise didn't believe he was up to par, and that led him to sign for Cardiff City on loan to prove he was good enough for first team football at Millwall. Unfortunately, Harris was unable to prove himself and was subsequently sold to Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee after they were relegated to Football League One in the 2004-05 season. He was unable to make an impact at the City Ground and so was loaned out to Gillingham who had also been relegated to League One at the same time as Nottingham Forest.
He scored 6 goals for Gillingham during his season long loan spell, at the end of which he returned to Forest, hoping to make an impact under new manager Colin Calderwood. Harris's old club Millwall made a loan deal for him on a 6 month deal in August 2006, however Harris rejected the offer saying if he were to move it would have to be on a permanent basis, and with Darren Byfield and Ben May set to return from injury for Millwall, Harris believed he would have once again been forced out the side, which was the reason he left The New Den in the first instance. Millwall therefore, withdrew from transfer negotiations. He finally opened his goal-scoring account for Forest on the 2 September 2006 after 21 months of waiting in a 4-0 victory against Chesterfield. It was a cutely struck volley from a few yards out. He and his team mates joy was clear to see in his celebration, as he ran towards the corner of the stadium and didn't look as though he would stop, until his team mates caught up. In the post match report, he admitted he was finally enjoying life at Nottingham Forest. Nonetheless, a certain contingent of the Forest fans still criticised Harris for his relatively poor scoring record and somewhat poor performance record.
In January 2007 Harris's contract was terminated by mutual consent. He re-signed with Millwall on an 18 month contract on January 8, 2007, less than 24 hours after leaving Forest, much to the delight of the Millwall fans.
Speaking to BBC Sport on 9 January, Harris stated, "There is something special about this club, it brings out the best in me as a player and a person. It feels like home, it always has done. I can't wait to get started."
On 20 January 2007 in his second game for Millwall, Harris made club history by scoring in the 16th minute of the 4-0 win over Rotherham to become Millwall's top league goal scorer with 94 goals surpassing the previous club record of 93 goals he had jointly held with Teddy Sheringham.
Harris informed the South London Press on 23 January, that it is now his intention to surpass Sheringham's 111 goal total for Millwall stating: "There is no question of me relaxing after one goal. At last I can say, without putting too much pressure on myself, that I want Teddy's overall record. The thing I've always wanted is to be number one, and that means getting a total of 112".
Harris's overall total of goals scored for Millwall, now stands at 104 in all competitions.