Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WAGs and Riches? Not for Lion-Heart Harris; Familiar Routine: Neil Harris Celebrates a Goal for Millwall and the Striker Needs Five More to Become the Club's Record Scorer and Take His Tally to 111 for the Lions

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WAGs and Riches? Not for Lion-Heart Harris; Familiar Routine: Neil Harris Celebrates a Goal for Millwall and the Striker Needs Five More to Become the Club's Record Scorer and Take His Tally to 111 for the Lions

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM WATT

EVEN by the overheated standards of the 21st Century Premier League, it's been an eye-popping couple of months.

The transfer sagas Ronaldo, Lampard and Barry dragging on since May have seen to that.

The sums of money that have been attached, like trademarks, to every mention of those players' names suggest football has found a way to defy all economic logic.

Or ignore it, more like.

Back in the real world, Neil Harris a bonafide Den legend is getting the family ready for a birthday party.

He's just finished playing the Tiger Woods golf game on the Wii with his son and we're keeping our voices down because his little girl's having her nap.

Oh, and 'Chopper', as he's known, is grumbling about the preseason trip to Exeter last Saturday where he didn't get a game. So much for the Big Time, League One-style.

But Harris has long since resigned himself to the gap between football's superstars and journeymen.

"People see the stereotype about a footballer's lifestyle and the money he's on," said the 31-year-old.

"In the Premier League and the big clubs in the Championship, you're talking about contracts that mean you probably wouldn't ever have to work again.

It's a different world.

"In the lower leagues, you don't have those wages or the security of a long contract. You worry about money coming in every week.

"And at this level, when you get to 27 or 28, you start to wonder about how you're going to get on with the rest of your life after playing."

The striker's had a lot on his mind in recent months.

This summer he signed a new one-year deal at The Den, something that seemed unlikely six months ago, when manager Kenny Jackett told Harris he'd be releasing him at the end of the season.

Supporters were up in arms. Right now, many suggest he's back in Bermondsey by popular demand.

"The gaffer is a strong-willed man but if the fans are saying that, I haven't got a problem with it," said Harris. …

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