THE 50th birthday party was a raucous affair. It started noisily and the din only grew.
It began at a restaurant near Green Park and ended some time the next morning at a Chelsea home then owned by Keith Harris, a plush pad with neighbours that include Sir David Frost. What Harris was doing at the party in the first place was unclear. And why he invited this motley crew of hacks, flacks and football folk back to his house was a mystery.
The post-mortem largely consisted of the bleary-eyed asking if they needed to apologise and if so to whom.
Harris took it well; he was a good sport, which is what you might expect from the City's Mr Football.
Yesterday it emerged that Harris's firm Seymour Pierce, one of the oldest names in stockbroking, is in some trouble.
It needs to raise funds of several millions quite quickly. If it can't, the future looks bleak.
Harris himself will be OK, having made millions from his involvement in several large football transactions and the float of fashion firm SuperGroup.
But if he can't keep the broker he part owns in business, what will that mean for his reputation as the go-to-guy for soccer deals? His roll call includes introducing Roman Abramovich to Chelsea (his level of involvement here is disputed somewhat), persuading Randy Lerner into Aston Villa and overseeing the purchase of Manchester City by former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
A Manchester United fan, Harris was also involved -- how deeply is again not clear -- with the so-called Red Knights, who attempted to buy Manchester United from the Glazers in 2010. …